Belkin's Wemo Mini smart plug has gained HomeKit support through a software update, as reported today by CNET. This means that owners of Wemo Mini plugs can simply open the Wemo iOS app, update the device's software, and immediately gain the ability to add the plug into the Home app, add it into existing scenes, and use Siri to control it without the need for a Wemo Bridge.

wemo mini
Apple first announced that it would update its HomeKit specification during WWDC 2017, so that compatible smart products no longer have to include a hardware authentication chip. For products like the Wemo Mini, this means that authentication goes through software instead and greatly streamlines how developers integrate with HomeKit.

Although announced at last year's WWDC, the change eventually launched in iOS 11.3 in March 2018, and the Wemo Mini is now the first HomeKit product to connect to Apple's platform using the software protocol, a Wemo spokesperson said.

The team at Wemo also tells us that the Mini is the first HomeKit device to connect with the platform using Apple's software protocol instead of the MFi chipset that was initially required at HomeKit's launch. "No other non-chipped product has the ability to do the HomeKit authentication via a software update as of yet," a company spokesperson tells CNET.

In that sense, the ability to connect with HomeKit via software instead of hardware represents a fairly significant step forward for the platform, and one that could make it easier for other existing devices to jump on board. That'd be a win for Apple, which has thus far struggled to keep up with Amazon and Google in terms of the quantity of devices that work with its smart home platform. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.

The $34.99 Wemo Mini is a smart plug that lets users add smart home control to normal products, like a bedside fan, lamp, coffee pot, and more. Smart plugs are a popular HomeKit accessory given their compatibility with a wide range of devices and cheap price tag. Other companies that make HomeKit smart plugs include iHome, iDevices, Koogeek, and Elgato.

Belkin initially introduced HomeKit support for its Wemo products with the Wemo Bridge, and although the Wemo Mini will no longer require a Wemo Bridge for HomeKit compatibility, other Wemo products will still need the Bridge to connect to Apple's platform. The team is working on updating other products similar to Wemo Mini, and says the Wemo Dimmer accessory is next on the roadmap for a HomeKit software update later this year.

For the Wemo Mini, users will see the HomeKit software update beginning today, and a rollout to all customers is expected to be finished as soon as next week.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Tags: Belkin, Wemo

Top Rated Comments

stukdog Avatar
52 months ago
These are the ones all over my home and I always hoped they’d be upgraded. It’s nice when a tech gamble pays off.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HyruleBorn Avatar
52 months ago
These WeMo mini plugs rarely work and set-up is such a hair-pulling struggle because of the buggy app. Every time I press the "Update" button in the WeMo app to update the firmware, it just takes me to the previous page; it's almost like the button doesn't do anything.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OldSchoolMacGuy Avatar
52 months ago
These switches seem a bit pricy compared to the competition. Any good reason for that?
For one, what other manufacturer would have upgraded their software rather than charge you for a whole new plug to work with HomeKit?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tehfunk Avatar
52 months ago
These WeMo mini plugs rarely work and set-up is such a hair-pulling struggle because of the buggy app. Every time I press the "Update" button in the WeMo app to update the firmware, it just takes me to the previous page; it's almost like the button doesn't do anything.
I think it's because the firmware isn't available yet. They updated the app, but the firmware is to be rolled out in the near future. At least that's my interpretation of the update notes:

"Download the app release and keep an eye out for an important firmware update..."

So I'm guessing that's coming at some point in the future. But I do agree, their app isn't the best.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac Fly (film) Avatar
52 months ago

The plug is surprised to hear this news.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aristobrat Avatar
52 months ago
This is the email I received:



Attachment Image
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

macbook air m2

Exclusive: Apple Plans to Launch MacBook Air With M2 Chip on July 15

Wednesday June 29, 2022 5:23 pm PDT by
The redesigned MacBook Air with the all-new M2 Apple silicon chip will be available for customers starting Friday, July 15, MacRumors has learned from a retail source. The new MacBook Air was announced and previewed during WWDC earlier this month, with Apple stating availability will begin in July. The MacBook Air features a redesigned body that is thinner and lighter than the previous...
original iphone 2007

15 Years Ago Today, the iPhone Went On Sale

Wednesday June 29, 2022 4:43 am PDT by
Fifteen years ago to this day, the iPhone, the revolutionary device presented to the world by the late Steve Jobs, officially went on sale. The first iPhone was announced by Steve Jobs on January 9, 2007, and went on sale on June 29, 2007. "An iPod, a phone, an internet mobile communicator... these are not three separate devices," Jobs famously said. "Today, Apple is going to reinvent the...
maxresdefault

Video Comparison: M2 MacBook Pro vs. M1 MacBook Pro

Tuesday June 28, 2022 2:45 pm PDT by
Apple last week launched an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and it is the first Mac that is equipped with an updated M2 chip. As it's using a brand new chip, we thought we'd pick up the M2 MacBook Pro and compare it to the prior-generation M1 MacBook Pro to see just what's new. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. For the video comparison, we're using the...
iPhone vs Galaxy Larger

Apple Executive Says Samsung Copied the iPhone and Simply 'Put a Bigger Screen Around It'

Tuesday June 28, 2022 8:59 am PDT by
The Wall Street Journal's Joanna Stern today shared a new documentary about the evolution of the iPhone ahead of the 15th anniversary of the device launching on June 29, 2007. The documentary includes an interview with Apple's marketing chief Greg Joswiak, iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell, and a family of iPhone users. One segment of the interview reflects on Android smartphones gaining larger...
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 14 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro vs. 14 Pro: New Features to Expect if You've Waited to Upgrade

Monday June 27, 2022 11:22 am PDT by
With many customers choosing to upgrade their iPhone every two or three years nowadays, there are lots of iPhone 11 Pro users who might be interested in upgrading to the iPhone 14 Pro later this year. Those people are in for a treat, as three years of iPhone generations equals a long list of new features and changes to look forward to. Below, we've put together a list of new features and...
Mac Studio IO

Apple Begins Selling Refurbished Mac Studio Models

Thursday June 30, 2022 7:42 pm PDT by
Apple today began selling refurbished Mac Studio models for the first time in the United States, Canada, and select European countries, such as Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. In the United States, two refurbished Mac Studio configurations are currently available, including one with the M1 Max chip (10-core CPU and 24-core GPU) for...
rootbug

Major macOS High Sierra Bug Allows Full Admin Access Without Password - How to Fix [Updated]

Tuesday November 28, 2017 12:33 pm PST by
There appears to be a serious bug in macOS High Sierra that enables the root superuser on a Mac with a blank password and no security check. The bug, discovered by developer Lemi Ergin, lets anyone log into an admin account using the username "root" with no password. This works when attempting to access an administrator's account on an unlocked Mac, and it also provides access at the login...