Apple’s home-automation system will be pretty underwhelming

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Rumors of Apple’s upcoming “Made for iHome” API in iOS 8 sent fanboys rocketing with excitement that Cupertino might be launching a makeover in the living room, but expectations are about to get dashed when Apple presents a much simpler system on Monday.

The move to home automation will be more about fighting fragmentation, reports GigaOm, than creating an entire home experience. Apple’s home efforts will just focus on easily connecting devices to Wifi and tossing in voice control over Bluetooth.

There will be no central control center. No asking Siri to turn off your Hues and lock the door. But the report does have some interesting details on what Apple will announce:

“What we’re likely to see next week is a roll out of participating partners, devices and chips that support the MFi standard, all set to assure people who purchase those devices that they will work with their iPhones and iPads, with the promise of a few special features.”

If GigaOm’s report is accurate it will be an underwhelming experience compared to the dream of Apple offering a clean, robust control center that can manage everything from your thermostat to your crockpot without switching to individual apps.

Apple could eventually overlay software controls directly into iOS 8 but it’s not looking to make its full home automation just yet. For now it looks like it’s simply laying the groundwork.

  • RaptorOO7

    IF what I am reading is true, that Apple’s grand plan for home automation is the “Made for iPhone, iPad, iPod” moniker then its already DOA. Why would any company pay another company a piece of the profits just to have a blue light special tag added to their app. Who cares, they can market it with their own apps on the app store unless of course Apple plans to block apps from being approved unless they pay up.

    Apple is passing up a great opportunity to bring innovation AND integration into the smartphone world, this where the future is going, NOT music and NOT headphones.

    • RepV

      Here is what I think is valuable when companies earn the “Made of iPhone” sticker. “Simplicity” for the users. I would love to have “1” app from Apple that controls many devices in my home then 10 apps. It is all about simplicity and just works perfectly. It is ALL about the “How” not so much the “WHAT”.

      Imagine just tell Siri “good night” and have it turns off all lights, locks the doors and closes the garage and turns down the thermostat. Rather then open 4 apps to accomplish the whole thing manually and and lot of typing.

      People don’t seem to get that Apple is all about making it “just works”. One example comes to mind. There are tons of fingerprint readers on laptops and phones and devices, how many of them work perfectly like the one from Apple on the iPhone 5s? NONE.

      So you see. IT IS ALL ABOUT the “HOW” with Apple.

  • lucascott

    It’s hard to take the rumors seriously when they call it ‘made for iHome’, disregarding the trademark held by another company

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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