ProLine Compact doorbell brings HomeKit Secure Video

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Robin ProLine Compact is HomeKit compatible
You can securely answer the ProLine Compact with your iPhone, thanks to HomeKit Secure Video.
Photo: Robin Telecom Development/Cult of Mac

A follow-up to the world’s first HomeKit-compatible video doorbell from Robin Telecom Development will support Apple’s new system that makes video security systems more private and secure. It’s quite possibly the first video doorbell to do so.

Almost as importantly, the Robin ProLine Compact is smaller than its predecessor.

Apple steps up smart home fight against Amazon and Google

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The HomePod -- a beautiful body with the brain of an idiot.
Apple wants to make a bigger mark on your home.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple is ramping up its smart home efforts in a bid to better compete against Amazon and Google, according to a new report.

Cupertino is said to be hiring for a team that will be focused on revamping HomeKit software and devices. It also wants to encourage more third-party manufacturers to support its platform.

Best new (and returning) features in iOS 13.1 beta 1

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iOS 13.1 beta 1 adds Books reading goal, brings back almost every feature dropped in previous betas.
iOS 13.1 beta 1 brings back almost every cool feature dropped from previous betas.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Surprisingly, iOS 13.1 is already in beta. It looks like Apple’s release strategy this year is to freeze the current beta version of iOS 13.0 in order to get it ready for the new iPhones expected on September 10. Meanwhile, Apple continues to test the next version, adding back some features removed during the beta period — Shortcuts automations, for example.

So, what other new (or revived) features will you find in iOS 13.1 beta 1?

Legrand’s new HomeKit light switches require no hub

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Legrand Home Smart Lighting for Apple HomeKit
Legrand’s latest dimmable light switches and wall plugs are all HomeKit compatible.
Photo: Legrand

The just-released Legrand Home Smart Lighting for Apple HomeKit collection includes 3-way and dimmable wall switches, as well as plug-in wall sockets that are also either on/off or dimmable. Any of these can be controlled via an iPhone, HomePod, etc. with no pesky hub required for in-home use.

Time and location triggers make Shortcuts far more useful in iOS 13

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Shortcuts iOS 13
This is Shortcuts in iOS 13. It looks great.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Apple’s Shortcuts app is already great, but in iOS 13 it gets even better. You can still create simple or complex workflows to do all kinds of tasks, from downloading YouTube videos or setting a quick meditation timer to resizing a whole folder of photos. But until now, you had to trigger those shortcuts manually.

In iOS 13, your iPhone or iPad can run a shortcut at a preset time or when you arrive at a specific location. This is huge.