WWDC 21 HomeKit announcements: home keys, SharePlay, third-party support for Siri and, new Matter interoperability standard

A ton of new features are coming to Apple’s HomeKit platform this fall led by a new industry interoperability standard called Matter. Support for Matter will be built into iOS and it will be a part of the Home app allowing users to access both HomeKit and Matter devices in one place. The aim of Apple supporting Matter is to unify the smart home market.

HomeKit

HomeKit to gain home keys, SharePlay, third-party support for Siri, and new Matter interoperability standard

Building upon digital car keys introduced last year, Apple today announced a new feature for HomeKit called home keys, which will allow users to tap their Apple Watch or iPhone to unlock their door. Integration between HomePod and Apple TV will also be improved as users will be able to ask Siri to play something on Apple TV via HomePod completely handsfree. Users will also be able to enjoy the new SharePlay functionality Apple is bringing to its ecosystem this fall. SharePlay is aimed at making it easy to watch content with friends in sync on FaceTime.

Apple HomeKit

Apple also announced several improvements for the Home app on Apple Watch in watchOS 8. The new Home app in watchOS 8 features a new design that provides quick access to smart home accessories and scenes. Additionally, users can also view HomeKit-enabled cameras from their Watch and tap an intercom button to broadcast a message to speakers throughout the house.

watchOS 8 Home app

Security cameras in HomeKit will gain package detection, a feature that informs users when a delivery is made at their front door. HomeKit on tvOS will let users display multiple cameras at the same time. While also these features are great improvements to the smart home experience, third-party support for Siri is undoubtedly the biggest change when it comes to the devices people prefer to have in their homes. From Apple newsroom:

HomeKit accessory makers can now enable “Hey Siri” in their products, allowing customers to talk to and get responses from Siri on third-party devices. “Hey Siri”-enabled accessories will relay requests through HomePod or HomePod mini and will support features such as Personal Requests, Intercom, timers, and alarms. Starting today, smart home device manufacturers can begin working with Apple to integrate Siri into their accessories.

These HomeKit improvements are slated for arrival this fall alongside Apple’s other software updates, including iOS 15, watchOS 8, and iPadOS 15.

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About the Author

Asma is an editor at iThinkDifferent with a strong focus on social media, Apple news, streaming services, guides, mobile gaming, app reviews, and more. When not blogging, Asma loves to play with her cat, draw, and binge on Netflix shows.

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