Apple Going All-in on IoT and Connected Home Devices

September 15, 2016 - 2 minutes read

The smart home is here — it just isn’t evenly distributed yet. (Or, more specifically, properly organized.)

The biggest critique against IoT startups among New York City mobile app development companies is that the field is simply scattered. Users have been slow to adopt IoT devices largely due to the friction of installing an individual app for every single purchase. It’s complicated, it’s expensive, and above all else it’s time-consuming. (Not to mention data-consuming.)

Apple aims to fix this problem with their newly updated Home app, hard-baking IoT functionality into iOS 10 with an all-encompassing “home base” for coordinating IoT devices. Many companies have tried and failed before the create a “catch-all” home for IoT controls, but Apple’s position as the hardware manufacturer for smartphones among the IoT target demographic gives them a big advantage smaller startups don’t have.

For app developers, the integration of Home with iOS 10 is a great thing, because it solves the complex problem of device coordination. For hardware startups, it’s even better news, because it confirms that IoT devices aren’t going anywhere. Apple isn’t often wrong when they place their bets, and if any company can push IoT through to the mainstream, it’ll be Apple.

While the Home app is still a bit complex for the average user, it gives app developers a glimpse of where we’re headed with Internet-connected appliances and networks. The “scenes” feature, in particular, which allows users to pair related actions (e.g. lower temperature when bedside lamp turns off, etc.) would be opaque at best for mainstream users. For mobile app developers and techies, however, it’s sure to be a delight.

The bridge to IoT is only half built, but Apple’s Home app is a promising sign that the connected home will go mainstream sooner than later.

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