Dear Apple, We Need Some HomeKit Answers

A Macbook Pro, iPad Pro, iPhone, and HomePod Mini displaying the Apple Home app

Okay Apple,

We to talk about Homekit, perhaps a roundtable?

When you unceremoniously canceled the original HomePod you threw the future of HomeKit into question for a lot of people. You sent a really mixed message about the future of the platform when you played up the HomePod Mini’s smart home capabilities last year and then released a big update to the original HomePod with Dolby Atmos support and Home Theater mode. I, and many others, purchased additional full-sized HomePods so we could take advantage of the deep integration into the Apple ecosystem with it service as a lynchpin for smart home. Combine that with the AppleTV hardware being really long in the tooth as well as TVOS having outgrown the old metaphor of “The future of TV is apps” and big apps like Netflix and YouTube not playing ball with the TV app experience that you pushed so hard that you remapped it to a physical button on the AppleTV remote…not to mention that the AppleTV 4K is approximately 3x the cost of the next competition from Roku and GoogleTV at this point.

Homepod Home theater mode prompt on AppleTV
Homepod Home theater mode prompt on AppleTV
Home Theater Mode turned the HomePod into the linchpin of my smart home this fall

Look, I’m willing to pay extra for HomeKit and I love my AppleTV 4K. I love how I can bring it accessories from 3rd parties, build automations with Siri Shortcuts, its fast, its secure, and its much more private than other smart home products. I just need to know if its going to stick around or you’re going to unceremoniously kill it as well and end of life my smart home? The original HomePod doesn’t even have bluetooth or an auxiliary input so I’m highly dependent on you supporting Airplay 2 on it. I’ve been building up these accessories for years now, I have a thermostat, smart lock, security camera, smart lights, and smart switches…and that doesn’t include my HomePods or HomePod Mini. Google and Amazon seem much more committed to the long term life of their smart home offerings and they’re much cheaper to switch over to and have more features like smart displays.

A Google Nest Home Hub on a tableside
A Google Nest Home Hub on a tableside
Google’s Nest Home Hub is excellent and something sorely missing from HomeKit

But again, I Iove Homekit, I love just having 1x digital assistant even if Siri is a little subpar by comparison. I like how everything meshes together with my AppleTV, HomePods, Apple Watch, and other Apple devices. I just need some message saying that all of this isn’t going to go the way of the original HomePod and me left with a bunch of disconnected systems and a very sad Hobie.

IT Support Specialist V and Spring Hill College graduate who loves all things tech. If it has a flashing LED it has my immediate attention.