I don’t think I’m alone in my disappointment with HomeKit. First announced in June 2014, it feels as if HomeKit has never really received the attention due to it. In the SixColors 2015 Apple report card, HomeKit did the worst with a grade of “D”.
There are apps that now support HomeKit. I use Siri to turn on and off my Hue Lights for instance. However, it is hardly seamless or, for that matter, easy to set up, comprehend, and use.
Apple even has a fancy website explaining all the nifty things you can do with HomeKit. However, despite being a super-nerd, I don’t know anyone who has gone all-in with HomeKit for home automation.
I think that home automation is now more on people’s minds than it ever has been. I also think now is a great time for Apple to step in with a single solution. It seems that the existence of HomeKit indicates at least a few people at Apple agree with me. The unanswered question is why haven’t they been pressing down the gas pedal on this?
If I had to guess I’d say it’s been difficult getting all the third party vendors on board but now it’s been over a year and a half and that excuse sounds stale. In the time that has elapsed so far, Apple could have made its own home automation hardware.
Another solution that is entirely within Apple’s Control is to create a HomeKit app. Right now, you must go to settings and third party applications to take advantage of HomeKit features, which is nuts. The iPhone should have one centralized place to manage all HomeKit enabled devices. You should even be able to mix and match between HomeKit devices in that hypothetical app so your lightbulbs turn on when the front door unlocks.
There are a lot of people out there that would love to further automate their homes but are not willing to jump through all of the hoops. This seems like the kind of problem Apple can crush. I sincerely hope HomeKit gets some serious love with iOS 10.