Apple wants users to control every aspect of their home - from the temperature and curtains, to the lights and door locks - with an iPhone app called Home, which will arrive with iOS 9 later this year.
To be used in conjunction with HomeKit, which was introduced in June 2014, the app will let iPhone users control a wide range of third-party products around their home, such as Wi-Fi-connected garage doors and smart thermostats. The app is expected to be a part of iOS 9, which itself is tipped to be shown off for the first time at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), which starts on 8 June in San Francisco.
According to a source speaking to 9to5Mac with knowledge of Apple's plans, the Home app will let users wirelessly discover, pair with, and set up compatible HomeKit devices; it will also create a virtual representation of rooms on a customer's house to help organise HomeKit devices - and to control the lights of each room, for example. Home will utilise the Apple TV as a hub for connecting all HomeKit devices together, tallying neatly with recent rumours of the set-top box becoming a central command centre.
Closely following the tracks laid by HealthKit, HomeKit will act as a framework in which third-party developers and hardware manufacturers can create devices that speak the same language. All data they gather - such as air temperature and purity, and video feeds from security cameras - would also be bundled into the same framework and shared with the Home app. The source claims Home is already appearing in builds of iOS 9 used internally by Apple employees, but they warn that its current state of minimal functionality suggest it might not be ready to show off in June.
It is also a possibility that the app will never see the light of day, and instead once HomeKit products go on sale Apple will only allow users to control them via voice commands through Siri, something which has been rumoured in recent weeks.
Apple recently said that the first HomeKit products will be "coming next month," pointing towards an announcement at WWDC. Companies to already announce HomeKit partnerships with Apple include iHome, Haier, Withings, Philips, iDevices, Belkin, Honeywell and Kwikset.