Mixtile Hub Smart Home Bridge Won't Support HomeKit After All

At CES 2017 earlier this year, Chinese company Focalcrest debuted the Mixtile Hub, a supposedly MFi-certified smart home bridge that promised to bring HomeKit connectivity to various connected home products that would not otherwise be able to interface with Apple's smart home platform.

mixtile2
Specifically, Focalcrest said the Mixtile Hub would be able to interface with Z-Wave and ZigBee devices and sensors, as well as connect to various smart home devices through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

As it turns out, however, the Mixtile Hub won't support HomeKit after all. At some point between CES and now, Focalcrest removed any mention of HomeKit from its press release—see the original for comparison—and the company now plans to launch the Mixtile Hub with Amazon Alexa support only.

In a recent email to MacRumors forum member Macwick, shared with us, Focalcrest vaguely said it believes Apple "doesn't permit bridge products to compatible with different brand devices," which isn't entirely true.

In the past few months, we kept to contact Apple for approval the HomeKit related designs. But this stage really takes a bit long and till now we still don't get a positive reply from Apple.

From our communication with Apple, we feel that they don't permit bridge products to compatible with different brand devices upon some uncertain reasons, as you know, our Mixtile Hub is a bridge product too.

The Philips Hue bridge does support both HomeKit and ZigBee, but that's just for one product, whereas the Mixtile Hub would have essentially made any Z-Wave or ZigBee product compatible with HomeKit. It wouldn't be surprising if Apple refused to certify the Mixtile Hub due to security concerns.

While it's unsurprising that Apple isn't backing the Mixtile Hub, it's disappointing that Focalcrest so prominently advertised HomeKit support prior to receiving certification for the product. Focalcrest admitted that it's uncertain if its "redefined" Mixtile Hub will still be attractive to homeowners.

Top Rated Comments

NachoGrande Avatar
59 months ago
Amazon will lead the way.. All of my home automation is using Alexa. Fantastic.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brett_x Avatar
59 months ago
Focalcrest said Apple doesn't permit smart home bridge products to be compatible with other standards or brands such as Z-Wave and ZigBee.
Hue supports Zigbee and Homekit, so it doesn't appear to be true.

Macrumors... Don't you have the resources to investigate and back that up or deny it? By not doing so, you've fed the "Apple is so closed it hurts" trolls.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
8692574 Avatar
59 months ago
This is why I moved away from iOS, it is too closed!
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arubinst Avatar
59 months ago
In a recent email to MacRumors forum member Macwick, shared with us, Focalcrest said Apple doesn't permit smart home bridge products to be compatible with other standards or brands such as Z-Wave and ZigBee.
That doesn't seem right. Philips Hue uses ZigBee and it is a HomeKit compatible bridge.

Unless in misunderstood what Macwick said.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macsrcool1234 Avatar
59 months ago
Once again, Apple's arbitrary rules screw over the customer. I abandoned the Homekit garbage long ago and went to Alexa/Smarthings and never looked back.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
59 months ago
Apple is currently losing the battle for the home. Alexa is quickly overtaking everything.

How can the company that kickstarted the AI personal assistant revolution five and a half years ago be so far behind? They've even had HomeKit for two years. Then a company like Amazon whose most successful product is an eBook reader and has turned out massive flops like the Fire Phone comes in and owns them.

If Apple doesn't have some seriously major upgrades for Siri at WWDC along with some dedicated hardware this autumn, I'm going to be seriously worried for Apple's future. You can only play the smartphone card for so long before the next big thing knocks you flat. I think they're working on something, and I'd prefer to use Apple over competitors because of their stance on privacy and security, but for a company with their resources this is taking far too long. As much as I like my Apple Watch, they've been piddling with these side projects too much and losing sight of where technology is headed.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...
iphone 12 colors 2021

iPhone 12 Colors: Deciding on The Right Color

Thursday November 5, 2020 8:35 am PST by
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro arrived in October 2020 in a range of color options, with entirely new hues available on both devices, as well as some popular classics. The 12 and 12 Pro have different color choices, so if you have your heart set on a particular shade, you might not be able to get your preferred model in that color. iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone...