Apple Publishes Open-Source Version of HomeKit Accessory Development Kit

Apple has released an open-source version of its HomeKit Accessory Development Kit (ADK), following news that it is joining a new industry effort to create an open standard for smart home devices.


On Wednesday, Apple, Amazon, Google, and the Zigbee Alliance announced the formation of a new working group that plans to develop and promote the adoption of a new IP-based connectivity standard for smart home products, with a focus on increased compatibility, security, and simplified development for manufacturers.

In a news post on its developer website, Apple said the release of the open-source ‌HomeKit‌ ADK is designed to accelerate development of the new universal smart home standard:
To accelerate the development of the new universal standard, Apple is open-sourcing portions of its ‌HomeKit‌ Accessory Development Kit (ADK). ‌HomeKit‌ has grown to become the most extensive, powerful and secure smart home platform available on more than a billion iOS and iPadOS devices. Built from the ground up to protect customer data, ‌HomeKit‌ and the Home app use innovative privacy technologies and techniques to help minimize the amount of data anyone — including Apple — can access as well as powerful security features that protect personal information. By open-sourcing its ‌HomeKit‌ technology, Apple will be helping to jump-start the initiative and ultimately deliver an even better experience to customers.
The release of the ADK means anyone can start developing non-commercial smart home accessories and even build ‌HomeKit‌ devices for their own home, while accessory manufacturers can use it to test products before officially joining the ‌HomeKit‌ MFi program, which can be a time-consuming process, not to mention an expensive undertaking.

Apple says it will contribute its ‌HomeKit‌ Accessory Protocol to the new consortium, and noted that anyone planning to sell HomeKit-compatible accessories must use the commercial version of the kit supplied by the Apple MFi program. The company also confirmed that existing ‌HomeKit‌ accessories will remain compatible with the new protocol when it's eventually released.

To access the ‌HomeKit‌ Open Source ADK, visit www.github.com/apple/HomeKitADK.

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5 weeks ago


Well that’s good.. I think? I’m not a developer: can anyone explain how will this help the platform?

The companies decided to come up with a standard protocol to make all smart home devices compatible with any OS. This is really great news tbh.
It’s similar to the USB C and emoji consortium to set standards.
Rating: 5 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Sounds like the open standard, once available, will be largely based on HomeKit. If true, that is a HUGE win for Apple.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago


The company also confirmed that existing HomeKit accessories will remain compatible with the new protocol when it's eventually released.


No, they didn't: What Apple said was

Existing HomeKit accessories will continue to work after the new protocol becomes available since Apple plans to continue to support HAP for communication with smart home accessories in its ecosystem.


i.e., existing HomeKit accessories will continue to work using the existing HomeKit Accessory Protocol even after the new Connect Home over IP protocol is finalized and adopted. Apple's saying both protocols will be supported by their devices. Apple is not saying that random HomeKit accessories will suddenly learn how to speak the new protocol.
Rating: 3 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Open standards is best for consumer. Good move; let’s see how it pans out ;)
Rating: 2 Votes
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5 weeks ago
This may mean homebridge will be recoded, but it should be a better outcome.
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 weeks ago


This may mean homebridge will be recoded, but it should be a better outcome.


This is right in the homebridge's wheelhouse. Im excited
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 weeks ago


It’s similar to the USB C and emoji consortium to set standards.


I'm going to be pedantic and note that the Unicode Consortium does a lot more than just ensure we get wizard-hat emojis. Their standardization drives what's at the core of all fonts.

"Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems. The standard is maintained by the Unicode Consortium, and as of May 2019 the most recent version, Unicode 12.1, contains a repertoire of 137,994 characters (consisting of 137,766 graphic characters, 163 format characters and 65 control characters) covering 150 modern and historic scripts, as well as multiple symbol sets and emoji."
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 weeks ago


This has nothing to do with whether Nest will support HomeKit. Zero.

You seem nice. Thanks for the response. I guess I was a little thrown off by this line from the article:

Apple said the release of the open-source HomeKit ADK is designed to accelerate development of the new universal smart home standard

But hey, if you say it has "nothing...zero" to do with it then I must have read that line wrong.
Rating: 1 Votes
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5 weeks ago
Only took them 3 years after they said they would open source it, nearly 10 years since hacking home automation devices using SiriProxy, and 3 years of hacking Homekit with HomeBridge

I suspect the only reason they are now is due to slow adoption rate and it means homekit has two possible future outcomes.

1. Apple wants to make sure Homekit is not excluded in the new Apple, Amazon, Google, Zigbee open standard announcement.
https://www.macrumors.com/2019/12/18/apple-amazon-google-zigbee-open-standard/

2. It means the end of homekit as a future platform and it will be left to DIYers to provide support for their now obsolete products.

Only time will tell if Apple sticks to their commitment and the new consortium adopts Homekit at all.
Rating: 1 Votes
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