Since iOS 13.6 and watchOS 6.2.8, Apple has let use your iPhone and Apple Watch as digital car key. Come iOS 15, a new tool called Home Keys will let you do the same with a compatible smart lock to your home. It’s one of several smart home-related features Apple showed off during WWDC 2021.
Once you’re inside your home, tighter integration between HomePod and Apple TV devices will allow you to control tvOS by issuing voice commands through one of Apple’s smart speakers. For those who own both an Apple TV 4K and one or more HomePod mini speakers, the company will let you pair those devices together for a better audio experience. And speaking of HomePod mini, the speaker go on sale in Austria, Ireland and New Zealand starting later this month, with availability in Italy to follow later in the year.
The company is also tweaking tvOS to add a new Shared With You row, which will feature content recommend to you by your friends. At the same time, a separate All of You row will highlight TV shows and movies tvOS thinks is suitable for your entire family to watch.
For the first time, Apple is opening up Siri to third-party HomeKit accessory makers. The company showed off the digital assistant working working with an Ecobee thermostat. Based on the demo, it appears Apple will direct through requests through its servers, making it so that third-party manufacturers won’t have the ability to see your voice commands.
Apple also showed off a redesigned Home app for Apple Watch, as well as a handful of interface tweaks it’s making to the security camera experience within the software. As with many of the previews Apple showed off today, you can expect the Home and HomeKit-related ones to roll out sometime later this year.
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