In the nearly 10 years since Apple popularized the smartphone for consumers, countless other devices have received "smart" makeovers. There are now smart refrigerators, TVs, thermostats, light bulbs – practically any home appliance you can think of has gone "smart." Now, Apple is revolutionizing the way we communicate with these devices, bringing us one step closer to an interconnected and automated smart home.
Apple's forthcoming iOS 10 includes a new app called "Home," which takes its developer-focused HomeKit one step further. While HomeKit allowed third-parties to connect their smart appliances to iOS devices, they each had to be controlled by their own apps. With "Home," Apple gives consumers the ability to control all of their smart devices in a single app, complete with full support from Siri.
Home in iOS 10 is organized into three main sections: Home, Rooms and Automation. As you might expect, Home serves as a central hub where users have quick access to the accessories they use the most. Plus, it allows homeowners to activate fully-customizable settings called "scenes." When they leave for work in the morning, for example, users could just tap a scene that might close the blinds, shut off the lights and turn down the air conditioning. Or, they could simply tell Siri they're "Going out."
Rooms displays connected devices by their room, allowing users to fine tune several settings in a specific room without having to jump between separate apps for the lights, stove, etc.
Finally, Automation allows homeowners to set events that can be automatically triggered without any input. Rather than manually activating a scene when they leave the house, for instance, users could set an automation that uses their GPS signal to tell when they've left the house, then make sure the lights and radio are shut off and the doors are locked. For now, however, automations require an iPad or fourth-generation Apple TV to control devices while users are out of range.
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