This year’s WWDC 2018 was flush with new features from Apple, and one improvement that may have gone unnoticed by many was the company’s plan to bring HomeKit support for remote controls to iOS 12.
There are a number of options for smart home automation on the market, but only the Apple HomeKit integrates seamlessly with iOS devices.
One of the biggest draws of Apple products is the fact that they interface quite well with one another. While some view the ecosystem as restrictive, there’s no denying that those with multiple Apple devices enjoy an unprecedented amount of convenience and functionality.
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Apple HomeKit remains one of the top smart home ecosystems, and while it doesn’t have support for quite the range of products that older and more established controllers have, it’s quickly expanding into a fully-featured automation system.
HomeKit Support For Remote Controls
With iOS 12, Apple plans to add HomeKit support for remote controls. The ability to support third-party remote controls is a much welcome change — albeit a little bit of a surprising one. It’s refreshing to see Apple embrace more third-party products, and we hope that this trend continues in the future.
In addition to HomeKit support for remote controls, iOS 12 will also usher in a number of other accessory types, but it appears that the remotes and speakers are the biggest takeaways from this announcement.
It appears as if HomeKit support for remote controls is already implemented in the iOS 12 beta, so if you’d like to use your third-party remote with your smart home controller you can do so by opting into the testing. Just keep in mind that the system isn’t totally stable, and beta builds do not run quite as smoothly as full releases.
While HomeKit support for remote controls in iOS 12 is impressive enough on its own, it appears as if the Home app has been expanded to more seamlessly interface with these third-party remotes. Users have reported products like their Logitech Harmony having its features integrated into the app, which are now accessible and executable in the menus or through Siri commands.
It’s clear that the technology for HomeKit support for remote controls is pretty robust, and it will be exciting to see how these capabilities extend further into the addition of more support for products in the HomeKit ecosystem. Manufacturers will now more easily be able to push out products that support HomeKit, and the usefulness of support for remote controls has far-reaching implications and will lead to a more robust HomeKit experience overall.
We will have to wait until more people test the HomeKit support for remote controls on iOS 12 before we have a full sense of how extensive the integration is, but initial testing seems quite promising. Apple HomeKit has been criticized for supporting fewer devices, but this might be the first step to making it a dominant force in the smart home arena.