Apple Hires Ex-Microsoft Exec to Revamp Smart Home Business

CNBC reports that Apple has hired ex-Microsoft exec and former CEO of a smart lock company to revamp Apple's home initiatives.

Hiring Jadallah is the latest signal that Apple plans to get serious about its own efforts in the home. Recently, the company acquired a start-up called Pullstring, a start-up that specializes in voice-enabled toys. That purchase could help the smartphone maker become the center of a connected living room.

Apple has been making movement into the home space for years, with the introduction of HomeKit as well as the HomePod which is powered by Siri. ‌HomePod‌, however, has lagged behind its competitors despite making steady improvements. Apple's latest hire as well as recent acquisition of a voice technology company seems to indicate that they are refocusing their efforts.


Jadallah was most recently CEO of failed smart lock company Otto. Otto was described as a "luxury smart lock":

With Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios packed inside the surprisingly compact design, Otto promises to let you or anyone you choose inside with just a touch whenever it senses an authorized phone within range.

That company ultimately failed, but it appears that Jadallah will be applying that knowledge forward at Apple.

Related Roundup: HomePod

Top Rated Comments

AppleFan91 Avatar
38 months ago
They are way behind google and amazon. Siri has to become smarter and Apple has to be more serious about a smart speaker than just the HomePod. It’s fine, but it can’t be their only entry. Amazon and Google penetrate millions of homes by have stuff like the echo dot and google home mini - cheap entries into smart speakers.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
38 months ago
Apple is definitely in need of some help in this area.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kai Wang Avatar
38 months ago
Joke’s on you. My generation will never be able to afford a home lol
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Robert.Walter Avatar
38 months ago
Apple us a major laggard in home space.

Abandoned airport.

Could have had “ Secure” brand with thermostats, security, smoke/CO, instead of leaving space open for Amazon.

Amazon is ring fencing Apple in at Apple’s peril.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
AppleFan91 Avatar
38 months ago
You should update your knowledge. HomePod entered the field behind the others who were already established but they haven’t stood still this past year. In recent tests, HomePod is now ahead ('https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/apple-siri-vs-alexa-google-assistant-loup-ventures.html') of ('https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/apple-siri-vs-alexa-google-assistant-loup-ventures.html') Alexa ('https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/21/apple-siri-vs-alexa-google-assistant-loup-ventures.html') in its ability to answer questions, though still behind Google Assistant.

In terms of capabilities, what Amazon calls “Skills”, HomePod is quickly catching up with Siri Shortcuts, enabling iOS apps to perform functions from a HomePod. What’s more, Shortcuts are easy for developers to turn on in Xcode, rather than having to purposefully write a Skill like Alexa requires. If they have an app, then turning on Shortcuts makes it compatible with HomePod. So, we’ll see Siri catch up quickly. Hundreds of apps have already added Shortcuts in the 5 months that it’s been out.
You should update your reading comprehension. Apple is behind Google and Amazon in smart home adoption and market penetration, which is clearly what I was talking about.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dguisinger Avatar
38 months ago
The brain drain at Apple is so bad that they didn't have anyone internally with an idea of how to run their smart home team? Seriously? Leadership starts at the top. They can't get Siri right, they can't get the Macs right.... who really needs an Apple self driving car or another expletive streaming service? The only part of Apple right now doing a great job is their custom silicon team. I really wish they'd shake up company leadership, the fish rots from the head. All of their teams seem to be running along with no clear vision.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new iPhones (5G iPhone SE, iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end MacBook Pro,...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...
safari icon blue banner

macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 Release Candidates Fix Safari Bug That Leaks Browsing Activity

Thursday January 20, 2022 1:30 pm PST by
The macOS Monterey 12.2 and iOS 15.3 release candidates that came out today appear to address a Safari bug that could cause your recent browsing history and details about your identity to be leaked to malicious entities. As shared last week by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS, there is an issue with the WebKit implementation of the IndexedDB JavaScript API. Any website that uses...
apple college discounts

Apple Walks Back UNiDAYS Verification Requirement for U.S. Education Store

Friday January 21, 2022 12:43 pm PST by
Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that customers taking advantage of educational discounts in the United States verify their status as a teacher, student, or school staff member through UNiDAYS. The requirement was a major change as Apple had never asked customers to go through a verification process in the United States before, and now, just three days after verification was added,...