Apple’s iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and tvOS 17 launched in beta last week, and the new operating systems bring several new smart home features to Apple products, including new Home features, FaceTime and conference calls on Apple TV, and new display options.
The tech giant first announced some of the new features of the new operating systems last month, and the general availability is expected sometime this fall. With the beta release now available, here’s a look at some of the features that owners of smart homes may want to use.
New Home App Features, Widgets
For homeowners using Apple’s new Home architecture, they can view their smart home’s activity history for the last 30 days 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.
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.
Apple is also introducing the ability to use an iPad or iPhone as a camera to start a call directly from the FaceTime app on Apple TV, or hand off the call from a device to the TV.
According to Apple, this is powered by Continuity Camera, and the Center Stage technology automatically frames users as they move around the room.
With the launch of tvOS 17 later this year, videoconferencing apps such as Webex and Zoom will launch on Apple TV, and developers can take advantage of these features and APIs to integrate the iPhone or iPad camera and microphone into their tvOS app.
Apple is also making sharing content via AirPlay more intelligent with on-device intelligence that learns a user’s preferences. Devices in the AirPlay list will be shown by relevance, and users will get suggested connections proactively based on their preferences.
For iPhones, iOS 17 includes a new StandBy mode while the device is charging that gives users a full-screen experience with glanceable information that can be viewed while the device is on its side. StandBy mode can be customized with widgets for smart home controls, essentially turning an iPhone into a smart home hub.
These features, now available in beta, will be available this fall, according to Apple.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our digital newsletters!