AirPlay 2 speaker control added to HomeKit automations is pretty cool
I want one of these…
For people who are not part of the Developer Program, there are the public betas, which will be released in July.
Look ma’ Apple put widgets on the screen… on the iPadOS screen, that is. Lol
- Siri Shortcuts in Home automations
If this is what it sounds like, it will open up a bunch of integration possibilities.
It’s sort of like the idea of the echo routines. Things that up until now you had to initiate by talking to Siri, you could automate.
One obvious use case would be to be able to use the audio sensors that are available to HomeKit to trigger smartthings events.
Apparently Apple’s idea of “automation” still requires acknowledgeing a notification to perform.
Specifically for the new Shortcuts feature? Because there are lots of HomeKit automations you can do that don’t require acknowledging a notification. It just depends on the specifics.
Yeah. That’s the indication on Reddit. I’m going to try and get the beta loaded on my work phone tomorrow and try myself.
This looks great, but all depends on the details. It’s a new privacy initiative from HomeKit for security cameras and video doorbells. The video will be analyzed on the local iPad, HomePod, or Apple TV and then encrypted before it is sent to iCloud for storage. You will get 10 days free iCloud storage for security videos if you have a paid iCloud subscription. So bonus space.
It’s not exactly clear how the security cameras that have facial recognition will work with this, but Netatmo is one of the partners signed on for it, so they’ve certainly thought about it.
Arlo is also supposed to be in the program, but they aren’t making the same announcements that logitech and Eufy and Netatmo are so they may not be ready for it yet.
Still, I think it’s a really good approach. Will just have to see what actually gets delivered.
Also, I’ve mentioned it before, but for those who are not aware, Siri is the only major voice assistant which anonymizes the audio before it is sent to the cloud for processing. So your Apple device gets a temporary anonymous ID when it submits the Processing request, because of this, there is no way that anyone at Apple can connect your history of Siri requests with your device or you. That is not true of Google assistant or Amazon echo or Cortana, all of which keep a history of your requests associated with your ID Until you specifically ask to delete them.
The security camera video is going to work differently. Recordings will be stored in the cloud for 10 days, but they will be encrypted with a key which only your local device has. So no one at Apple can view them.
I wonder how Apple is getting revenue for the video clip storage. Is the user’s iCloud subscription enough to cover the costs? Are the camera manufacturers going to pay per clip stored? In theory the manufacturers would be saving money on their own servers costs.
I think on this specific one piece they won’t need extra revenue, they can subsidize it as part of their branding “what happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone“ privacy emphasis.
Because the video for HomeKit has always been a question. You don’t want it to stay on that device, you want it in the cloud so it can be accessed later for security uses even if your device is damaged or stolen.
So now they’ve come up with a privacy first way to do that, which is a good thing. But the cost to them of the extra video storage for 10 days should be nominal. It is capped, depending on the paid iCloud plan you have, so they should have a good idea of what the total cost would be.
I should also note that unlike lights and locks, this approach means that you will have to have a “hub” device for your homekit implementation if you want to use the security camera privacy. So that means either a HomePod or an iPad or an Apple TV. This could be the push to get people into using that kind of setup, Thus selling one extra hardware device to some people.
Secondarily, but still meaningful, I think Apple would really like people to choose a HomePod as their HomeKit hub, but they don’t want to make that a requirement. Because so far it looks like most people who are not audiophiles are not purchasing that device. (That includes me. I use HomeKit for all my basic critical use cases in Home Automation, but I don’t have a HomePod. )
I’m putting this as a secondary justification because the HomePod doesn’t have a screen, and it does seem like that’s what you would want if the argument is that it’s the best way to manage your security cameras, but I do think local video encryption leading to potentially more hardware sales is a plus for Apple.
The details from the iOS 13 beta are starting to come out at various blogs.
As is typical for Apple, they have really thought about how people will use specific features, and the improvements are ones that people who use the system will generally really appreciate, While those who just read about them may not understand all the significance.
Anyway, they’re doing some very interesting things with Cameras.
For example, starting with iOS 13, if, say, the motion sensor on your camera gives you an alert, the notification screen that comes up will now have the option of including the live video stream (not just a snapshot). and, a very cool feature which Will include tiles for all the actionable devices that are in the same room. So you could turn the lights on or off, turn on a socket that controls a siren, Start an audio file, all kinds of things. Or just unlock the door for the person. I haven’t seen that in any other system, including some of the purpose built security systems, but I can see where it would be really useful.
images from HomeKit News blog, see link below
They’ve also add new icons for triggered fire or water leak sensors which I like a lot. That should make them stand out from contact or motion sensors. I’m not saying the other sensor trigger indicators aren’t important, but I like the use case specific ones.
Also a little more about using Shortcuts in automations, which is where you would get a SmartThings integration.
Anyway, there’s a very interesting English language HomeKit blog that comes out of Taiwan called HomekitNews. Most of the Devices covered are ones intended for the panAsian market, but the software is the same, and the writer is often very detailed in a good way.
Here’s their article on the HomeKit changes coming with iOS 13.
Netatmo Announces their new video doorbell will have the “Apple HomeKit secure video” feature at launch
Netatmo has revealed that the upcoming Smart Video Doorbell will support HomeKit Secure Video at its launch later this year and both the Smart Indoor Camera and Smart Outdoor Camera will support the feature as a free automatic firmware update soon after.
Users have been clamoring for this feature for some time. Currently, they must rely on third-party servers to store their video which are not necessarily as secure —or private —as Apple’s own.
Another article from a different source on the changes to HomeKit and iOS 13.
One early report said that you would have to approve the running of a shortcut each time, but nobody else is saying that:
So I’m wondering if maybe that only applies to certain device classes, like maybe locks. But I don’t know for sure.