Apple is certainly keeping busy in 2016, and one new innovation will come bundled with the new iOS 10 mobile operating system.
According to the latest rumors, Apple will bundle a HomeKit app with iOS 10. The app will provide a central control center for smart home devices from all third-party applications or Siri.
Employee posts review of HomeKit iOS 10 app
An Apple employee posted a review of the HomeKit app on Amazon. The tech giant has already copyrighted an icon for the app, and had apparently planned to release it on iOS 9.
However Apple decided to take more time to develop HomeKit and it will reportedly make its first appearance in iOS 10. The Apple worker that wrote the review specified that he was a member of the marketing team, which tested a large number of Smart Home devices.
One of the main challenges was to ensure that third-party smart devices can integrate seamlessly with HomeKit.
Third-party apps already exist
A number of existing apps from third-party developers are already able to control Smart Home devices. While some are free, including Yonomi, others charge a fee. One app called Home costs $14.99.
The existing apps are updated regularly to include support for new smart devices, which are constantly being released. Both Yonomi and Home support Amazon’s Echo voice assistant.
“The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone HomeKit app as well,” says the source.
MacRumors checked the identity of the author of the review, and said that it matches a LinkedIn profile that belongs to an Apple employee. This should mean that the release of HomeKit is a sure thing, but Apple has previously made last minute changes to its release schedule.
New features predicted for iOS 10
HomeKit already exists as a platform that matches smart gadgets with iPads and iPhones, however users must still use dedicated apps for each of their smart devices. A new HomeKit app will make calibrating your smart home a whole lot easier.
The new operating system will be unveiled at WWDC 2016 in June. It is thought that the company will release a version of iOS 10 to testers and developers straight after the event.
Apple is expected to bring a raft of changes to the new operating system. A number of new features are expected to be added to the stock Photos app, while Apple Music will get its first major redesign since launching over a year ago.
Photos will add the ability to edit EXIF data in app, and edit certain areas of a particular image. Apple Music will be completely redesigned, with a simpler user interface and new features such as integrated support for song lyrics.
Apple is also expected to add new capabilities to Apple Pay, with the service compatible with e-commerce websites. iOS 10 may also be the first Apple operating system that lets you hide stock apps, which has been a source of annoyance for many users in the past.
Visually speaking iOS 10 will not look all that different from its predecessor, but the new operating system will have a raft of updates and new features that should improve the user experience. A number of concept videos predict what Apple will add to iOS 10, but these rumors are the ones that have gained most traction thus far.