Along with the release of the new iPhone 15 and Apple Watch lineups, Apple previewed several new features coming to the operating systems for iPhones and iPads in iOS 17, including several designed for easier and more efficient control of smart homes.
As we reported in July, iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 software will include a new feature that allows homeowners using Apple’s new Home architecture to view their smart home’s activity history for the last 30 days. This allows users to see who locked or unlocked a door, and when. Activity history will also show recent activity for garage doors, contact sensors and security systems. This feature will be available on both iPhone and iPad.
However, what wasn’t announced several months ago is Grid Forecast, a new feature for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, as well as the new Apple Watch and other Apple devices, that allows users to see live data from their local energy grid that shows when their home is running on cleaner sources so they can plan when to charge devices or run appliances.
For example, there could be times when wind and solar infrastructure are producing more energy than the grid can use, leading to some of it being wasted. There are also times when electricity is being generated with lower emissions.
This can help homeowners lower the climate impact of the electricity they use at home, according to Apple.
Apple iOS 17, iPadOS17 Grid Forecast Pools Important Data
The company says it uses data that combines grid, emissions and weather information into an easy-to-follow signal that can help users make decisions about the best time to run large appliances, charge electric cars, or use large devices.
In the contiguous United States, Grid Forecast is available in the Home app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch, and can be added as an iOS widget or a watch face complication. As additional data becomes available through ongoing industry collaboration, Apple will continue refining Grid Forecast to maximize impact, the company says.
Apple is also introducing interactive widgets from the home screen or lock screen, enabling users to access their Home controls without having to unlock the device and open the app. This will be available on both categories of devices.
In addition, popular HomeKit lock features such as tap to unlock and PIN codes are now available for Matter-compatible locks, the company says. Check out our coverage for more information on those items.
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