This week on The CultCast: Smart window blinds, smart plugs, smart lights, smart locks and now … the best televisions on the market. Apple just revealed big moves to bring HomeKit to all your favorite gadgets, and Cupertino is just getting started. In 2019, the smart HomeKit devices we’ve always wanted finally arrive. Plus: Tim Cook just let it slip — Apple’s got new services lined up for release this year, but what could they be? We think we might just know.
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CultCast #370 – Finally! Apple’s bringing HomeKit to your favorite TVs and gadgets
On the show this week
2019 – The year of HomeKit
- Until the release of iOS 11.3 in March, anyone who wanted to make HomeKit devices had to plan and pay to build in Apple’s authentication coprocessor.
- With iOS 11.3, Apple changed the game, and allowed devices makers to add HomeKit with simple software integration.
- Apple is pushing HomeKit hard at CES this year. It coordinated with manufacturers to demo key new HomeKit smart home announcements to the tech press
- TechCrunch says Apple spotlighted announcements from Belkin Wemo, Eve, ConnectSense, Kwikset locks, Nanoleaf lights and a Netatmo HomeKit connected doorbell.
- We also got an announcement that Netgear is bringing HomeKit support to Arlo Pro 2 cameras and a new 4K camera.
- And … a bunch of TVs
- Apple announced that it will bring AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility to a bunch of TVs in 2019, spanning models from manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio.
- A small list of 2018 models will also receive Airplay 2 support.
- Samsung TVs will be getting the iTunes Movies and TV apps.
- Sony will be adding HomeKit and AirPlay 2 to it beautiful TVs powered by the horrendous and slow Android TV OS.
- Tim Cook teased new services that will be coming to Apple users this year. Responding to questions about falling iPhone sales during a CNBC interview, Cook stressed the way that Apple’s Services division has grown significantly in the past several years.
- “The services are on a tear,” Cook said. “On services, you will see us announce new services this year. There will more things coming.”
- First and foremost is Apple’s original TV content, which the company has supposedly spent more than $1 billion on, but not yet formally announced.
- Second is Apple’s rumored magazine subscription service. Based on Texture, the $9.99-a-month magazine service Apple purchased back in March last year, this would be a paid magazine and newspaper subscription service, which will serve as a premium part of the existing Apple News app.
- On iPhone XR not selling well: “I call bologna on that,” Cook said. “Let me tell you how I view this. Here’s the truth, what the facts are. Since we began shipping the iPhone XR, it has been the most-popular iPhone every day.”
- On wearables: “It’s mainly the Apple Watch and AirPods,” Cook said. “If you look at this on a trailing basis – I’m not projecting – revenue for wearables is already more than 50% more than iPod was at its peak.”