Siri Control of HomeKit Devices While On the Go Requires Apple TV as Hub

HomeKit-iconOne of the major focuses at CES this year was home automation, with a number of vendors announcing their plans for devices integrating with Apple's new HomeKit ecosystem. One of the key features of these HomeKit devices has been the ability to control them from iOS devices via Siri, allowing users to turn lights on or off, close garage doors, and more with just their voices.

As noted by The Verge, however, users hoping to accomplish such tasks while away from home will need to have an Apple TV on their home network to serve as the hub for these devices.

So, while commands like "Siri, turn off the lights in the living room" will always work while connected to your home Wi-Fi network, they won’t from the airport unless you have an Apple TV. But that’s it — you can still switch off the lights with an app, no Apple TV required. This behavior has been confirmed by a source close to HomeKit’s development as well as two launch partners who wish to remain anonymous. Only third-generation or later Apple TVs running software 7.0 or later will support HomeKit.

Apple has quietly included HomeKit in the Apple TV's software, but The Verge notes Apple will not be marketing the set-top box specifically as a home automation hub.

Many of the home automation vendors have been fairly vague about launch plans for their devices, and sources indicate that uncertainty is due in large part to the need to wait for Apple to finish polishing its HomeKit tools to ensure proper functionality. With HomeKit-enabled chips only recently beginning to ship to vendors and Apple's vendor licensing program still getting underway, most of these companies still have a few hurdles to cross before they can make their products available for sale.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

heimo Avatar
92 months ago
"Siri, switch off the Apple TV"

I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
malexandria Avatar
92 months ago
Lovely

Require the use of a device you label a "Hobby" that hasn't had an update in what 3 years now? A device that does a pretty lousy job handling HD Video? At this point I don't even want Apple to update the AppleTV because if past is prologue they'll make it worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the dBags remove the ethernet port making it WiFi only.
Score: 49 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cogitodexter Avatar
92 months ago
Require the use of a device you label a "Hobby" that hasn't had an update in what 3 years now? A device that does a pretty lousy job handling HD Video? At this point I don't even want Apple to update the AppleTV because if past is prologue they'll make it worse. I wouldn't be surprised if the dBags remove the ethernet port making it WiFi only.

I'll bite.

The device doesn't really need an update. It's a low cost networked streaming device that provides 1080p output on HDMI.

It's low power and perfect to be an 'always on' hub for other household devices. It's perfectly logical for it to take on the Home Automation role since it already has the ability to have a visual interface on a device almost everyone has - i.e the TV. It also doesn't need instructions - it's pretty much plug in and go.

What else does it need to do?
Score: 46 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SmoMo Avatar
92 months ago
"Siri, switch off the Apple TV"
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Neepman Avatar
92 months ago
Geez. Lighten up peoples. The thing is a hundred bucks and one of the few actual "values" in the whole apple universe.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaveTheRave Avatar
92 months ago

What else does it need to do?
Support Amazon Prime / Instant Video. Apple, stop crippling ATV.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange

Next iPad Pro Might Feature Large Glass Apple Logo to Allow Wireless Charging

Friday January 14, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022. While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...