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.
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