Ever wonder how to test an external battery? Ever want to enforce parental controls from afar? Ever wonder just how different Time Machine and iCloud are from normal backups? Well, your two favorite geeks discuss all this and a LOT more in today’s episode. Press play and enjoy!
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a new Apple patent application on Thursday describing a system for controlling your smart home from a single device that can learn new functions. The patent sounds a lot like an iPhone with HomeKit, which is no coincidence at all.
Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to offer up their take on Amazon’s Echo that’s coming this fall to compete with Apple’s HomePod, plus they have some thoughts on Apple adding HomeKit demonstration stations to its stores.
What exactly is “Apple?” The company is changing dramatically, and Bryan and Jeff explore where Apple might be going. They also talk about home automation, and how we are in the Wild West days of this future technology.
If you’re having a hard time wrapping your head around HomeKit and why you might want smart home devices you can now try them out it Apple’s own stores.
Apple has quietly made a change that could unlock the doors to HomeKit and help it become the standard for controlling HomeKit devices you built.
Elgato’s HomeKit-compatible Eve Degree temperature and humidity sensor looks like it was designed for your wine cellar or greenhouse.
Belkin’s new commitment means you’ll be able to control WeMo smarthome devices with Siri.
IKEA’s reputation for budget priced furniture carried over into smart lights last year, and now it’s about to do the same for HomeKit, too.
The next time you’re driving around California, you may find brand new Apple HomeKit houses built by Brookfield Residential. Other builders have offered HomeKit upgrade packages, but Brookfield will be the first to integrate HomeKit from the ground up, making it a standard.
Smart thermostat maker ecobee is teasing its upcoming ecobee4, which is set to debut on May 3rd. The new model is rumored to include a built-in microphone and speaker with Amazon Alexa voice control built-in. ecobee4 will reportedly have a sleeker, yet familiar, design and the separate room sensors are said to be silver instead of white. The company also lowered the ecobee3 price ahead of next week’s announcement from US$249 to $199. That’s a pretty sweet deal for a full-features smart thermostat that’s also HomeKit compatible. If you want to follow along with ecobee’s announcements next Wednesday you’ll need to head over to the company’s Facebook page.
Logitech’s POP Smart Button is getting HomeKit support, and its POP Smart Button Kit will be available in Apple’s retail stores. The button supports a wide range of devices, so you can use it to control non-HomeKit gear, too.
Dr. Mac was recently invited to review a smart deadbolt. He explained that he’s not a do-it-yourself type of guy, and probably didn’t have the tools or skills to install a deadbolt. He also questioned the need to ever unlock his door using an iPhone instead of a key. A Sense Smart deadbolt kit arrived a few days later; he installed it himself in under an hour.
Apple updated its HomeKit page with a fresh, new look. It includes a brief video that shows the power of HomeKit automation with iOS 10. Examples in the video include lights, window shades, coffee makers, door locks and thermostats. Apple also has several sections that give details of different areas of the Home app.
Work Visas for the tech industry may be changing thanks to an executive order that’s said to be coming from the White House. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to look at the draft order and the impact it could have on Apple and other Silicon Valley companies. They also have some thoughts on the rapidly changing smart home market and Apple’s apparent lagging position.
Back from CES, your two favorite geeks have some fun stuff to report about and all of your questions to answer. The latter include things like fixing Mail.app’s CPU-hogging, which hibernatemode to use for your MacBook, and much, much more. Press play and enjoy!
LAS VEGAS – iDevices introduced Wall Switch, Wall Dimmer, and Wall Outlet at CES. These Wi-Fi-enabled devices support Apple’s HomeKit, as well as Amazon Echo. They don’t need a hub, and company reps told me they meet all of Apple’s and Amazon’s security (and other) requirements. Folks looking to build a HomeKit-specific smarthome should take a good look at these devices.
Sylvania announced Tuesday it was launching an LED smartbulb in its LEDVANCE product line with support for Apple’s HomeKit (yay!). Better yet, the Smart Multicolor A19 doesn’t require a hub—just plug it in, find it with Apple’s Home app, and you’re good to go. Sylvania said the device will be sold through Amazon and ship in “early 2017.” This will be a great addition to the HomeKit ecosystem. To that end, I’ve been seeing more HomeKit stuff in my inbox during the last few weeks for CES 2017. It’s almost as if Apple’s smarthome platform is finally coming alive. Let’s hope, at any rate. I’ve left messages with Sylvania reps asking about pricing, which wasn’t announced. Sylvania also didn’t release images of the new bulb—the image below is of current products in the company’s smartbulb line. [Update: Sylvania’s PR folks got back to me—pricing is definitely unannounced. I also added a rendered image of the A19. We’ll be visiting with the company next week at CES. – Bryan]
In today’s Quick Tip, Melissa Holt is going to walk us through how to allow someone to access the devices in our Home app. It’s fun! We live in a very strange future in which your friend across the country could turn your lights on and off to mess with you…but only if you know how to invite him in first.
The recent botnet attacks have called into question the security of all our various internet of Things (ioT) devices, and rightfully so. One of the regular chimes I hear in our Apple-centric universe is, “HomeKit is secure, it must be the answer.” Unfortunately, HomeKit is only built to secure HomeKit, not everything. More must be done.