Apple's 'Smart Home' Initiative Focused on 'Made for iPhone' Certification, Not Deep Integration

Earlier this week, a report suggested Apple has plans to unveil a new smart home initiative at WWDC. This platform would allow the iPhone to directly control lights, security systems, and other household gadgets, with Apple giving third-party device makers official approval for integrated devices.

Gigaom has some new information on how the smart home program will work, confirming that it is a fairly simple program that will certify both connected devices already on the market and upcoming devices under the existing "Made for iPhone" certification process currently used for iOS accessories like iPhone cables and gaming controllers.

mfi_logo
The program will not include an Apple-made software interface that overrides the existing apps tied to current iOS-compatible home accessories like the Philips Hue lighting system or the Nest thermometer, and will instead focus on connecting devices via WiFi. There's also the possibility for voice control using Bluetooth.

The MFi certification will essentially be used to notify consumers about which products will integrate well both with the iPhone and with other home automation accessories, suggesting the program introduced next week will feature several home automation product manufacturers that have agreed to work with the MFi standards for quality and compatibility.

Instead of worrying about hubs and what might work with other devices, consumers can look for the MFi label and be assured that they can pull their smart home setup together -- and control it from their iOS device.

It's technically possible that the user could control some device functions from a handset or tablet without opening the app, or that the app would open automatically based on a voice command or eventually through presence detection.

Apple is expected to unveil more information on its smart home initiative on Monday, when WWDC kicks off with an opening keynote.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
84 months ago

Sounds like I don't care


You cared enough to click on the article and respond.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago

revolutionary.


Nope. Magical.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago
Sounds like I don't care
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago
I was hoping for a newsstand or passbook style app where you will find a one stop app for all your home automation to function from. Rather than turning everything off on 10 different apps when you leave, you can just flick a switch like airplane mode and power everything off.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago
revolutionary.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
84 months ago
This simple thing simply does not make sense

i can understand when "Made for iPhone" certification is used for something that is unique to iPhone (for example something with lightning port or a phone case). Home automation devices need to use something like WiFi, BT or better yet a specialized protocol like zigbee or z-wave. If they use it, then they will work not just with iPhones but also with Android phones and with just about everything out there. Unless Apple will require the certified devices to somehow rely on Apple ID it is going to be "Made for iPhone, works with everything".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Gold Version of iPhone 12 Pro Apparently Has a More Fingerprint Resistant Stainless Steel Frame

Tuesday October 20, 2020 11:56 am PDT by
iPhone 12 Pro reviews hit the web today, and one of the more interesting tidbits came from TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino, who revealed that the Gold version of the device apparently has a more fingerprint resistant coating applied to the stainless steel frame. From his review:Most of the iPhone 12 Pro finishes still use a physical vapor deposition process for edge coating. But the new gold...

Photographer Austin Mann Tests the iPhone 12 Pro's Camera

Wednesday October 21, 2020 4:14 am PDT by
Travel photographer Austin Mann usually performs an in-depth review of new iPhone models to test their camera performance in real-world scenarios. To test Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro, Mann traveled to Glacier National Park, Montana. Mann focused on some of the biggest camera upgrades with the iPhone 12 Pro, including the upgraded Wide lens, Ultra Wide Night mode, and LiDAR autofocus, across a...

iPhone 12 Pro Max Has Smaller 3,687 mAh Battery According to Regulatory Filing

Tuesday October 20, 2020 8:48 pm PDT by
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro Max is equipped with a 3,687 mAh battery, which is around 7% less capacity than the 3,969 mAh battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, according to a regulatory filing published by TENAA, the Chinese equivalent of the FCC. The regulatory filing, spotted by MacRumors, also lists the iPhone 12 Pro Max with 6GB of RAM as seen in benchmark results last week. Apple has filed ...

5G Drains iPhone 12 Battery 20% Faster Than 4G in Benchmark

Wednesday October 21, 2020 3:17 am PDT by
After the first reviews for the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro emerged yesterday, a new report by Tom's Guide reveals the extent of battery life reductions when using 5G. The report outlines a test wherein the iPhone surfs the web continuously at 150 nits of screen brightness, launching a new site every 30 seconds until the battery drains. Interestingly, the test was run on an iPhone 12 and...

Hands-On With Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro MagSafe Cases

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:33 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone 12 and 12 Pro are launching this Friday, and ahead of that release date, Apple is shipping out various accessories like the MagSafe charger and MagSafe cases. Yesterday we took a look at the MagSafe charger, and today our MagSafe case came in the mail, so we thought we'd take another look at the charger to see how it works with the case and just how strong the case magnets are. S ...

Reliable Leaker Suggests AirTags 'Coming Soon' in Two Different Sizes

Tuesday October 20, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Apple's rumored AirTags Bluetooth tracking devices could launch imminently and will be available in two size options, based on new tweets from cryptic-but-reliable leaker L0vetodream. In typical enigmatic style, the leaker first tweeted this morning that a "big one" and a "small one" are "coming soon," but withheld what they were referring to. However that was followed an hour later with the ...