The new HomeKit abilities you need to know about, this week on The CultCast | Cult of Mac

The new HomeKit abilities you need to know about, this week on The CultCast


HomeKit devices
The Home app and HomeKit just got turbocharged.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Live in the home of the future, today! We’ll tell you how with iOS 11’s huge improvements in the Home app and HomeKit. Plus: There’s a new Apple ID phishing scam you need to know about; there’s been a disappointing development with Apple’s AR glasses; we have to talk about the hundreds of new emoji coming at you in iOS 11.1; and we’ve got a svelte iPhone 8 case, a MacBook Pro sleeve made from real sheep, and a new power brick that’ll charge your MacBook, iPhone, Nintendo Switch — everything!— in an all-new Under Review.


CultCast #305 – How HomeKit got SUPERCHARGED in iOS 11
Subscribe on iTunes

Our Twitters, if you please
@erfon / @lkahney / @lewiswallace

This week’s stories

Why you shouldn’t trust Apple ID prompts in third-party apps

  • A savvy developer named Felix Krause has discovered it is shockingly easy for an iOS app developer to phish your Apple ID and password with a fake authentication prompt that looks exactly the a real one.
  • He posted pictures of a real and fake prompt this week and they look identical.
  • Worse, developers can add this code after their app has been approved by Apple.
  • How to tell the difference:
    • The app will close and the popup will disappear with it. This means it was a phishing attempt.
    • The app and popup remain on screen. This means it is a genuine system dialog and can be trusted.

Apple is now selling its latest MacBook Pro at a discount

  • Apple has updated its online Apple store to start offering refurbished 15-inch MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar, marking the first time this year’s Touch Bar-equipped models have been available to buy refurbished.
  • Apple typically sells refurbished models for around 15 percent off the full retail price

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Technology Doesn’t Exist to do AR Smart Glasses ‘In a Quality Way’

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat down for a wide ranging interview with The Independent
  • When questioned about the topic, he said the technology to create a pair of augmented reality smart glasses “in a quality way” does not exist today.
  • “But today I can tell you the technology itself doesn’t exist to do that in a quality way. The display technology required, as well as putting enough stuff around your face – there’s huge challenges with that.
  • “The field of view, the quality of the display itself, it’s not there yet.”
  • “We want to be the best and give people a great experience,” he said. “But now anything you would see on the market any time soon would not be something any of us would be satisfied with. Nor do I think the vast majority of people would be satisfied.”

Apple drops iOS 11.1 beta 2 with dozens new emoji

  • Apple unleashed hundreds of new emoji on developers today with the release of iOS 11.1 beta 2.
  • The new emoji also have new faces, clothes, sports, food, dinosaurs and other mystical characters.
  • Monocle face
  • Mind blow face
  • Mer-people
  • Wizards
  • Draculas
  • Chinese food takeout container
  • Elves, fairies, genie
  • Dinosaurs

Inside iOS 11: HomeKit gains multi-person geofencing, conditional triggers

  • HomeKit and the Home app will boggle your gourd. They’re WAY more powerful now that in iOS 10.
  • Multi-person geofencing. Actions can be triggered when one person comes or goes, or when a group of people in the same HomeKit group does.
    • Turn on lights when first person gets home
    • Turn off heat when last person leaves
  • Support for conditional triggers
    • Lighting will come on with someone comes home, but only after sunset
    • AC will turn on when someone comes home, but only if the temperature is above a threshold that you set.
  • Airplay 2 speakers are now supported, so you could set your speakers to start playing music in the morning or when you get home.
  • Time-based event triggers (i.e. turn the lights off at 5:30, or turn them on 30 minutes after sunrise)
  • Day of the week reoccurrence, so you can set things differently for different days of the way, or on the weekends
  • Home occupancy gate (i.e. only run something if you’re at home)
  • Timers (auto off after 1-60 minutes)

Now you can control sprinklers, faucets, and Airplay 2 speakers in addition to:

  • security devices
  • garage doors
  • fans
  • lights
  • outlets
  • air purifiers
  • locks
  • humidifiers
  • doorbells
  • cameras
  • air conditioners
  • window shades
  • and thermostats

Under review


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.