Apple may incorporate a dedicated smart home app in the next version of iOS that will make it easier for users to control electronic devices at their homes from one app. Latest reports suggest the iPhone maker is looking to build a standalone HomeKit app that will offer users wider control over electronic systems in the house.
MacRumours reports that an Apple employee has made the claim about the "standalone" HomeKit app and says that it will arrive this fall. The employee does not indicate in detail as to how the app will work but in a nutshell says it will be a hub for all your HomeKit-compatible smart home gadgets rather than using various apps each accessory maker builds.
"As I work in marketing for Apple, we test many smart home devices, especially for iOS HomeKit integration. There are many third party applications, most free, that offer more control and customisation(s) with many smart home devices. "Yonomi" is a free app that I often use, "Home" is another which cost $14.99. Both offer support for many devices with more added daily (including Amazon "Echo"). The next version of iOS due this fall will have a standalone "HomeKit" app as well," reads his post.
In the past there have been indications of such an app especially when iOS 9 was about to be unveiled but nothing materialised. If the post is anything to go by, the app could very well debut with the launch of iOS 10 which is rumoured to be launched at the WWDC in June. It is expected to come with a revamped Apple Music app, photos improvements and now the SmartHome Kit app.
With the standalone app you could just open one central "Home" app on your iPhone or iPad and manage everything from there. Currently, HomeKit users with multiple products can use several different product apps or rely on third-party apps, but an Apple-developed dedicated app would make things smoother.
The company has already trademarked a HomeKit app icon that may be used as the final version's icon. Rumours also suggest that this app could be renamed 'Home'.