This is how you’ll set up your smart appliances with Apple’s HomeKit

apple tv homekit hub ios 8
HomeKit development is apparently chugging along within Apple. As the company tells it, “dozens” of manufacturers are already on board with Apple’s software hub for smart home devices, and the first devices are expected next month. But details beyond that are still wanting — until today, for instance, it wasn’t evident just how users would set up with their appliances and smart lightbulbs. But thanks to a 9to5Mac report, we know a tad bit more.

Home, an app currently undergoing internal testing, is the user-facing part of HomeKit. It helps initialize and group smart home devices, connect applicable ones to an Apple TV, and suggests new products to buy, but not much else — Home seems to be a setup app, pure and simple. True to what we know about HomeKit so far, Siri voice commands and third-party iPhone and iPad apps appear to be the primary inputs for tasks like toggling lights, unlocking doors, recording security cam footage, and any other functions connected smart devices support.

That’s one facet of HomeKit uncovered, but framework remains shrouded in mystery. Apple hasn’t yet specified the connectivity and protocols in use —  rumors suggest Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, iBeacon technology, or a combination of all three  — and it’s unclear if the new Apple TV will pack proprietary HomeKit features. But the wait for information likely won’t drag on much longer — Apple’s expected to detail HomeKit at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June.

That’s assuming its timeline isn’t derailed, of course — Fortune reported last week that Apple would be withholding the launch of some HomeKit devices until late summer, a problem a source attributed to the code base “[blowing] up” and requiring too much memory for smaller, battery-powered devices. Apple denied those rumors but said that HomeKit has only been available to developers for “just a few months,” implying some partners will be late out of the gate.

Mobile

Think iPhones can’t get viruses? Our expert explains why it could happen

If your iPhone has been acting strangely, then you may be concerned about the possibility it is infected with a virus or some malware. We take a look at just how likely that is and explain why iOS is considered relatively safe.
Mobile

Apple iPad Mini 5 vs. iPad Mini 4: What’s new in Apple’s long-awaited refresh?

The long-awaited refresh of the iPad Mini is finally here, but just how big an upgrade does the iPad Mini 5 represent? We compare it to the outgoing iPad Mini 4 in various categories to delve into the differences and pick a winner.
Smart Home

Lutron’s Fan Control makes ceiling fans smart, but has some turnoffs

Lutron recently came out with a smart switch that controls ceiling fans, the Lutron Caseta Fan Speed Control Switch. How does it stack up? Here's a first-hand review of the Lutron Fan Control switch.
Movies & TV

Disney Plus: Here’s what we know so far about the upcoming streaming service

Disney is bringing the full weight of its massive content library to its own streaming service in 2019. How will Disney Plus compare to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime? Here's what we know so far.
Mobile

Apple’s new iPads are hardly new at all. Don’t waste your money

It has taken Apple four years to get around to updating the iPad Mini line, but the new iPad Mini is virtually identical to its predecessor. It’s joined by a confusing iPad Air with no obvious target audience. Is Apple just trying to sell…
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.
Mobile

Even older Apple Watches could be effective at spotting heart conditions

The Apple Watch Series 4 is known for detecting heart conditions like atrial fibrillation thanks to having an electrocardiograph feature. It turns out that older Apple Watches could be effective at tracking AFib, too.
Deals

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods, nice as they are, aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, and if you're looking to buy a pair of high-end in-ear headphones, we've got the best AirPod alternatives on the…
Mobile

The Black Shark 2’s Ludicrous Mode promises the smoothest mobile gaming

Xiaomi-backed Black Shark has a follow-up to last year's Black Shark gaming phone, complete with high specs and a low price. Here's everything we know about the Black Shark 2 gaming phone.
Deals

Need a new tablet? Here are the best iPad deals for March 2019

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for March 2018.
Deals

Amazon drops price on Apple Watch Series 4 with a rare deal

Since Apple first unveiled the Series 4, the price for one has pretty much held fast. This has finally started to change with a nice little $15 discount on Amazon. If you've been wanting the newest Apple Watch, now is a great time.
Computing

Sending SMS messages from your PC is easier than you might think

Texting is a fact of life, but what to do when you're in the middle of something on your laptop or just don't have your phone handy? Here's how to send a text message from a computer, whether you prefer to use an email client or Windows 10.
Mobile

Google's midrange Pixels might be called the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Gaming

Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs brings 3D demolition into your living room

Angry Birds is releasing its next entry in the spring of 2019 - with a new spin. Bringing 3D environments and destruction, Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs uses augmented reality to add a new dimension to a classic series.