An app to control all HomeKit-compatible IoT devices could make an appearance in iOS 10, according to reports.
According to MacRumors, hints of the app come from an Amazon reviewer who works in the marketing department at Apple. The publication claimed to have confirmed that a review in Amazon came from someone working for Apple.
“As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many Smart Home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration … The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone ‘HomeKit’ app as well,” said the employee in the comment.
While this augurs well for IoT control through one app in an iPhone or iPad, it doesn’t make it a certainty. Such moves are subject to change and could well not make the cut before the launch of iOS 10, which is due to be unveiled at Apple’s WWDC this June.
Apple has previously trademarked a HomeKit app icon which could potentially be used for the standalone HomeKit app, rumoured to be called “Home”. Such an app could improve the experience of using HomeKit devices, rather than having to rely on tens of third-party apps that don’t integrate with each other.
Google has its own IoT platform, named Brillo as well as an IoT hub called OnHub. An app for controlling IoT devices could give Apple one over Google as well as stopping the fragmentation of the HomeKit experience.
HomeKit and smart home security?
Cesare Garlati, chief security strategist for the prpl Foundation, told Internet of Business that when it comes to IoT in the home, people must realise that security of these devices just doesn’t exist yet.
“Therefore a number of questions should be considered, particularly: Do these systems really need a mobile app? Does the app really need to connect to central server in the cloud? And most importantly, is it sound to have a smartphone control anything that is critical to you?” said Garlati.
“These are all key questions to address when we look at IoT especially in the home as a vast majority will not use apps that are developed by the OEM, but rather assembled using a host of third parties – of which they have no control or visibility over. In order to combat this, OEMs should implement open and interoperable standards in their devices and Home IoT Architecture should rely only on a local hub, and this hub should be secured.”