Apple announces a new Home app for HomeKit

As expected, Apple announced a new app called Home, the long-awaited way to control HomeKit at its yearly developer conference, WWDC. Home will be included with iOS 10 this fall, and the Apple Watch.

WWDC 2016: WatchOS 3 supercharges the Apple Watch with extra speed and Minnie Mouse

While manufacturers have been slow to roll out HomeKit-compatible devices, users have still had to rely on separate apps to control their smart locks and thermostats. With Home, you can launch a single app to do things like tap on your lights to turn them on or slide around the dimmer. You’ll also have access to your scenes. For example, click on “goodnight,” and your lights will turn off, the thermostat will turn down, and the door will lock. Siri also understands “goodnight” and “good morning,” so when you say good morning to her, she’ll start waking up your house.

iOS-10-WWDC-2016_0014

In iOS 10, the control center will also give you access to HomeKit. Slide it up and over, and you won’t have to launch the app to turn on the lights.

Other cool features include a notification coming in when your doorbell has rung, which lets you see out of your front door’s camera, then unlock the door if your dog walker is waiting on the porch.

It sounds like you’ll still need Apple TV to remotely control your home, though. “It can serve as a secure point for remote access and automation,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, at WWDC.

Apple didn’t mention anything about the rumored Siri-powered smart home hub meant to compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo. In addition to Siri support, the rumored device would integrate with HomeKit as well as AirPlay, allowing it to function as a standard wireless speaker, according to a report from The Information. Though Siri will soon be on your Mac anyway. Guess we will have to wait for Siri to get its own smart speaker.

Smart Home

Power on and off: Kasa Outdoor Smart Plug by TP-Link brings weatherproof smarts

The Kasa Outdoor Wi-Fi Smart Plug grants remote control of two outlets in an IP-64 weather resistant housing. Simple and straightforward, this smart plug is a great fit for summer lighting.
Smart Home

Amazon and Best Buy smash prices on August smart home security locks

Amazon and Best Buy have the lowest prices for two August smart home door locks during a limited time sale. August was one of the first smart door lock companies designed specifically for smart home convenience and security.
Computing

The iPhone’s Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts could land on Macs this year

For its desktop computers, it appears that Apple may continue to draw from the iPhone for inspiration. iOS 12 features, like Screen Time and Siri Shortcuts, are believed to be making their way to MacOS this year at WWDC in June.
Computing

MacOS update may include external display support for iPads

Apple's upcoming MacOS is rumored to include a new native external display support feature. Code-named "Sidecar" the new feature is expected to allow MacOS computers to send app windows to external displays like iPads.
Trash

Our favorite smart thermostats let you stay warm without burning money

The right thermostat can do more than just adjust the temperature of your home, it can also learn about you and help you save money. Check out our picks for the best smart thermostats on the market right now.
Smart Home

Grow it, cook it, smoke it: Marijuana tech gadgets for your home and kitchen

Legal marijuana consumers buy around six marijuana products each month. Some of the products we found look like something out of a stoner sci-fi movie. Check out this collection of marijuana tech.
Smart Home

Virtually walk through dream homes with Zillow’s new A.I.-powered 3D home tours

Home sellers and real estate agents listing properties on Zillow's home marketplace now can add 3D tours for free to their listings. Zillow 3D Home uses artificial intelligence to create tours with 360-degree panoramic photos.
Smart Home

Alexa, how much do you weigh? Questions unlock voice assistant's Easter eggs

Sometimes all we really need is someone to talk to, which is why we've rounded up the best (read: funniest) Easter eggs currently embedded within Amazon's virtual assistant. Apparently, Alexa knows more than you might think.
Cars

Where to go when your EV is low: Rich neighborhoods have most charging stations

If you're running low on juice in your electric vehicle, head for the rich part of town. A survey by Realtor.com found median home list prices in the 20 U.S. ZIP codes with the most EV charging stations were 2.6 times the national average.
Smart Home

Google has tips for making your smart home more eco-friendly

Google is announcing new integrations for Google Assistant with energy and water-saving devices for Earth Day. The company is also offering tips on how to cut down on your energy bill.
Smart Home

These are the 13 best games to play on your new Google Home

Google Home is a handy device, but did you know you can play games with it? There are a ton to play, and we tested them all. Here are some of favorites that you can play on your Google Home device.
Smart Home

Best Buy zaps price on Nest Secure alarm, Nest Cam, and Google Home Mini bundle

Best Buy zapped the price of Nest smart home security Nest Secure Alarm and Nest Cam Outdoor bundle and added a Google Home Mini. Nest Detect sensors watch your home inside and out. Stream Nest Cam video in real-time or view clips later.
Smart Home

Amazon Echo Show and Google Home Hub get huge price cuts

If you act today you can get an amazing deal on the first-gen Amazon Echo Show on Woot or the current generation Google Home Hub on Rakuten. The Echo Show works with Alexa and the Google Home Hub with Google Assistant.
Smart Home

Video doorbell alert leads homeowner to confront suspected porch pirate

Video doorbells are doing their bit to help homeowners fight back against porch pirates, as this recent incident in California shows. The motion-activated device alerted the owner, who challenged the suspect right on the doorstep.