A new Home app, HomePod multi-user support coming during Apple’s WWDC

Apple Homepod
Greg Mombert/Digital Trends

Among a host of other developer-centric announcements at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple plans to announce some improvements to its smart home platform to make them more useful. Among the enhancements are HomePod support for multiple users, as well as an upgraded Home app.

The news of Apple’s smart home plans for WWDC 2019 was first reported by Bloomberg, which said Apple plans to tweak the HomePod’s software to allow it to recognize and respond to different users, an often requested feature.

Amazon’s Alexa already offers such a feature, which customizes the smart assistant’s responses to the user it hears — for example, customized traffic reports in the morning, or their own customized news or weather reports. Like the Alexa multiuser support, you will likely need to train the HomePod to recognize your voice before using the functionality.

In addition to the enhancements to HomePod, Apple also plans to release a redesigned Home app for both iOS and the Mac. Most notably, the new version will have better security camera integration, allowing users to view recordings within the app.

Right now, it still appears as if the Home app will still require a device like the HomePod or AppleTV to control your devices outside of your home wireless network, however. That has been one of HomeKit’s biggest challenges in the market and one of the reasons why other solutions have gained more traction in the market.

Smart home enhancements are only a small portion of what Apple’s expected to debut at WWDC. iOS 13 is expected to take center stage, with a new Dark mode, the capability to use the iPad as a second Mac screen, and more new iPad-only features including “an updated interface for multi-tasking, tweaks to the home screen, and the ability to cycle through different versions of the same app.”

Also rumored to be potentially released at the event are a new Apple-branded monitor and a new Mac Pro, which would be the first update to the latter product in over a half-decade.

The Worldwide Developers Conference will be held from June 3 to June 7 in San Jose, California.

Home Theater

LG’s 2019 TVs slide Alexa next to Google Assistant, with Siri on the way

LG announced that Alexa will be coming to its 2019 lineup of ThinQ A.I. TVs, joining Google Assistant. Users will be able to control their TVs and smart home devices with their remote, no extra speaker required.

The 2019 MacBook Pro is an impressive performance update, but not much else

With increased competition from Windows laptops, Apple could do with refreshing its MacBook Pro line. Fortunately, it looks set to do that in 2019. Here's everything we know so far.

Apple sends out invites for WWDC 2019, and unicorns are involved

Apple developers and fans alike look forward every year to the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, better known as WWDC. Apple has confirmed the conference will take place on June 3-7, and the company just sent out invites.

Embattled Huawei preps its own backup operating system that runs Android apps

According to a new report, Huawei is developing its own mobile operating system, just in case it loses its access to Android -- something that could happen to ZTE in the near future.
Smart Home

Amazon chops the price for customer favorite Hamilton Beach 2-way coffee brewer

Do you sometimes want just a single cup of coffee without making a whole pot but other times use a full carafe? Have it both ways with the Amazon's Choice Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer. For today only, Amazon cut the price by $53.

Best Memorial Day smart mattress sales from Sleep Number, Beautyrest, and more

Memorial Day is one of the best holidays when it comes to online sales. If you're looking for a new mattress, a smart mattress may be right for you. Check out some of the best Memorial Day smart mattress sales of the year to take your smart…
Smart Home

Amazon Memorial Day sale: $210 off Arlo Pro wireless security camera kit

Weatherproof and wireless, the Arlo Pro security camera gives you the freedom to monitor any area or room inside or outside your home. Amazon dropped the price of the Arlo Pro HD security camera kit that includes everything you need.
Smart Home

Amazon Memorial Day deal drops price of August Smart Lock for homes to just $99

Smart lock are a strong start to any smart home security system. Now, in Amazon’s Memorial Day deal, score an August Smart Lock for the low price of just $99, down from $150. Lock in this deal now and start your summer off smart.
Smart Home

Before you sell your Google Home Mini, here's how to factory reset it

If you’re thinking about swapping out Google's entry-level smart speaker, you can get a few bucks in cash or trade-in value out of your device. You’ll need to wipe your device first though. Here's how to factory reset a Google Home…

The best Amazon Prime Day 2019 deals: Everything you need to know

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is still a few months off, but it's never too early to start preparing. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what to expect this year.
Smart Home

Walmart offers sweet deals on Owlet Smart Sock 2 baby monitor

Parenting is an amazing experience, but wondering how newborns and infants are at night can be nerve-wracking. Baby monitors can ease some of the stress by letting you check on the baby without entering the room.

Amazon slashes prices on Nest and Ecobee smart thermostats for Memorial Day

If you’re tired of constantly adjusting your thermostat and you want a smarter (not to mention more eco-friendly) way to keep cool this spring and summer, then these Nest and Ecobee smart thermostat deals are just what the doctor ordered.

Walmart Memorial Day sale: 4K TVs, laptops, and Apple iPads get price cuts

The Walmart Memorial Day sale has begun. With some pretty nice savings on Apple iPads, Samsung and Vizio 4K TVs, laptops, and Google Home devices, now is a great time to snag some electronics for cheap.
Smart Home

The best stand mixers of 2019, including models at every price range

Making dough is hard work, but the right stand mixer can make free up some time (and your hands). Here are our current favorites, from the likes of KitchenAid, Sunbeam, and several other manufacturers.