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Apple HomeKit release date rumours: Apple's system for controlling gadgets in your home coming this spring

Lou Hattersley | Jan. 28, 2015
With HomeKit and iOS 8, Apple has promised to bring the Internet Of Things (IoT) and home automation to iOS. But when is HomeKit coming out? We can already buy home automation devices, but when will you be able to buy HomeKit devices for iPhone and iPad? Here's our HomeKit release date and rumours article.

Another suggestion is that there are a number of HomeKit ready products waiting for approval from Apple, but Apple hasn't yet verified any. Why would Apple be making venders wait? One suggestion is that Apple will hold an event to introduce it's connected home solution, probably alongside the launch of the Apple Watch, At this event we may also see an update to the Apple TV, although not necessarily a hardware update.

HomeKit FAQs: What does HomeKit do?
HomeKit is a system for developers who want to build home automation gadgets that can be controlled from one easy to use iPhone or iPad app. Consumers will benefit, but only once developers start releasing home automation products based on the HomeKit system.

Whenever you hear an Apple term with the word 'kit' at the end, that's your clue that Apple has made something for developers. Other examples include Sprite Kit for games developers and HealthKit for fitness device developers. HomeKit is a framework of functions that enables developers creating Wi-Fi devices, such as wireless heating and lighting systems, to connect them to an iOS device in an orderly manner.

HomeKit is a software framework that enables developers to integrate internet-connected home devices with iOS apps. Rather than having to build the connections from scratch, HomeKit offers a whole set of systems that developers can use to integrate iOS apps with wireless devices.

In order to get involved with HomeKit, developers have to sign up for Apple's Made for iPhone (Made For iPhone (MFi) programme. This enables hardware manufacturers to create products that carry Apple's MFi logo. It also ensures that customers are buying a product that uses legitimate Apple connections, and something we can be sure will work with the iPhone and iPad. Hardware developers have to pay Apple to be in the MFi program, but it's integrated systems like HomeKit that prove the worth of these systems.

Apple often talks about how its integrated hardware and software approach gives it an edge over other manufacturers (who may specialise in one or the other). Systems like HomeKit extend that hardware and software integration to third-party manufacturers.

HomeKit FAQs: Is there going to be a Home app that controls all HomeKit devices?
Will Apple introduce a dedicated Home app to go alongside HomeKit? It seems logical, but Apple isn't talking.

On the surface, a Home app seems to make sense: after all, Apple's HealthKit system has its own Health app (introduced in iOS 8). But it may well be that HomeKit isn't viewed or treated in the same way. That it's not really an app, but a system that enables developers to integrate their own apps with devices they build.

 

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