Apple quietly adds HomeKit support for third-gen Apple TV units

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Date: Wednesday, September 24th, 2014, 12:21
Category: Apple TV, iOS, News, Software


It wasn’t a huge update, but it’s interesting.

According to Forbes, Apple released an Apple TV update allowing for third generation units of the media device to support HomeKit, Apple’s protocol for allowing connected home gadgets to connect safely and easily in iOS.

The update means that Apple TV could be the hub that unifies the fragmented smart home industry, allowing you to turn on your lights or unlock your door from an iPhone remotely using Apple TV as a bridge device. Apple TV has both Bluetooth low energy and Wi-Fi wireless technologies, both of which Apple has made clear are the primary technologies that connected devices will communicate in the iOS environment. Apple TV is a device that is always on in your home, making it ideal as a hub to communicate with smart devices.

The Apple TV probably won’t be the only way your device communicates with the rest of your environment, but with an install base of 20 million Apple TVs on the market, this makes sense, especially with speculation of a more powerful Apple TV en route.

The source, who wishes to remain anonymous to protect his relationship with Apple, said the updated software Apple released to Apple TV today is the same update that iOS 8 developers received last week, which included in the release notes that “HomeKit support is built into the Apple TV firmware now,” he said.

According to this person, anyone with a third generation Apple TV and with the latest 7.0 software update will now likely have a HomeKit-enabled central hub, whether they know it or not.

Why isn’t this update more apparent in Apple TV right now? “[There’s] not a lot of reasons to promote HomeKit from Apple’s perspective until there’s something that works with it,” the person said.

Apple-certified smart gadgets haven’t been officially rolled out yet. But when HomeKit was first announced at this year’s developer conference in June, there were a number of big-name connected gadget companies listed as official partners, including Honeywell, Philips, August Smart Lock and others.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

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