Apple TV could finally become the digital hub your home’s been awaiting. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Will the Apple TV become a hub for controlling your smart home in the near future? Signs are pointing to yes.
Apple is quietly testing HomeKit support for its TV set-top box with developers. The functionality can turn an Apple TV into an always-conntected bridge device for communicating between hardware peripherals that support Apple’s HomeKit framework.
This week: With Apple’s big Sept. 9 media event just around the bend, we dust off our crystal balls and reveal our iWatch and iPhone 6 predictions! Plus: The Fappening. How did so many high-profile celebrity nudies leak for all to see? And is an iCloud flaw responsible for the debacle? We’ll tell you what happened, how it happened, and what you can do to help keep those sensitive selfies safe from prying eyes.
Softly chuckle your way through each week’s best Apple stories! Stream or download new and past episodes of The CultCast now on your Mac or iDevice by subscribing on iTunes, or hit play below and let the chuckles begin.
Our thanks to Lynda.com for sponsoring this episode! Learn virtually any application at your own pace from expert-taught video tutorials at Lynda.com.
New App Store guidelines are in place to protect user data.
Apple is constantly looking to improve the App Store experience, and ahead of the long-awaited release of the iPhone 6 and public version of iOS 8, it is doubling its efforts.
With these two landmark events coming up rapidly, the company has updated its App Store review guidelines to add all-new sections dealing with features such as HealthKit, HomeKit and TestFlight, extensions and more.
As the iPhone 6 and public launch of iOS 8 gets ever closer, a number of products offering full integration with Apple’s new HomeKit platform have started popping up on a regular basis.
The latest of these is Elgato’s new line of “Eve” connected home sensors, which debuted at the IFA 2014 trade show in Berlin, Germany. The range of Bluetooth accessories are able to monitor air quality, detect smoke, and track humidity, energy used, air pressure and water consumption — then feeding all of this data back to your iPhone or iPad.
With the iPhone 6 and public launch of iOS 8 mere weeks away, one of the first products to take advantage of Apple’s new HomeKit platform has started shipping.
The product in question is the August Smart Lock, an electronic lock designed to allow keyless entry into people’s homes. “Now you can control who can enter and who can’t—without the need for keys or codes,” the company’s website notes. “And you can do it all from your smartphone or computer.”
There are various smart light bulbs on the market, with the most famous probably being the Philips Hue connected bulb. But new Kickstarter project Emberlight has come up with a unique (and certainly more wallet-friendly) spin on the concept of how best to light your smart home.
Emberlight has produced a device with the ability to turn any dimmable bulb into a smart light, which users can then operate using their smartphone. The project’s developers boast of multiple uses for the Emberlight: ranging from having the lights in your bedroom mimic a sunrise by slowly lighting up in the morning, to creating custom presets for different lighting effects, to having your lights intelligently turn on and off as you move through your home.
Craig Federighi takes the wraps off Apple’s HomeKit at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Imagine getting home after a hard day’s work in the year 2016: There’s no need for keys as you approach your house, since proximity sensors in the lock mean a simple iPhone voice authorization will open the door for you.
The house has been alerted to your arrival, so your Nest thermostat has adjusted the temperature to suit you, while your Philips Hue connected light bulbs change the lighting to fit your mood — predicted by analyzing your heart rate and schedule for that day. The iWatch on your wrist runs Jawbone app, letting you know your caffeine levels are a little high and that you should wait until 7:30 p.m. before going for a jog to ensure maximum sleep quality that night.
Five minutes after putting your car keys down, dinner’s ready. You’re running late, but your smart immersion cooker — which has been monitoring your location all day — has delayed cooking until the optimal start time.
Nest, which is now owned by Google, pioneered the idea of a smart thermostat. Now several years later, Honeywell has a Nest competitor that might actually do well in the consumer market.
Called Lyric, Honeywell’s new WiFi-connected thermostat costs $279 and will be available at a Lowe’s near you by August. While it may be too late for the Lyric to compete with the Nest, Honeywell sees it as just the beginning of its entry into the world of the the smart, always-connected home. And being a launch partner with Apple’s HomeKit in iOS 8 could mean that more people buy the Lyric over Nest in the months to come.
Craig Federighi unveils Apple’s HomeKit home-automation initiative. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
In the not-so-distant future, we’ll use smartphones to control nearly everything around our homes. We already have smart light bulbs, thermostats, locks and appliances, but we lack a central platform for all these devices.
That’s all going to change this fall when Apple releases iOS 8 with HomeKit, an important new protocol for developers. This will create the kind of universal platform that could revolutionize home automation.
Craig Federighi stalks the stage at WWDC 2014. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Monday’s fantastic WWDC keynote was the most significant product introduction since Steve Jobs unveiled the original iPad in 2010. But this time, the revolutionary product wasn’t hardware — it was software.
The surprisingly well-executed event demonstrated two things:
1. Steve Jobs’ greatest product wasn’t the iPad or the Macintosh, but Apple itself. He created a company that can very clearly innovate without him.
2. Although there was no new hardware (for now), Apple’s trajectory is clear: It’s getting into some very big things.