Apple Publishes Open-Source Version of HomeKit Accessory Development Kit

by

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.

homekit 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.

Top Rated Comments

Janschi Avatar
14 months 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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redpandadev Avatar
14 months ago
Sounds like the open standard, once available, will be largely based on HomeKit. If true, that is a HUGE win for Apple.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westacular Avatar
14 months 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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Applebot1 Avatar
14 months ago
Open standards is best for consumer. Good move; let’s see how it pans out ;)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dewalt Avatar
14 months ago
This may mean homebridge will be recoded, but it should be a better outcome.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Smith288 Avatar
14 months 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
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
ipad pro 2021 mysmartprice cad

Allegedly Leaked 2021 iPad Pro CAD Images Suggest Few Design Changes

Tuesday January 12, 2021 3:38 am PST by
Tech blogs 91mobile and MySmartPrice on Tuesday posted a series of allegedly leaked factory CAD images of Apple's upcoming fifth-generation 11-inch iPad Pro. Rumors suggest Apple plans to announce two new iPad Pro models in both 11-inch and 12.9-inch versions, and today's images offer perhaps the clearest indication yet that Apple's next-generation iPad Pros will have minimal, if any,...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
mac anti reflective coating issue

Apple's Anti-Reflective Coating Repair Program Still in Effect for Some MacBooks With New Mail-In Policy

Tuesday January 12, 2021 10:07 am PST by
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple recently informed its network of Apple Authorized Service Providers that mail-in repair is now required for Mac notebooks with anti-reflective coating issues in the United States. The new policy went into effect January 4, 2021 and means that customers who take an eligible 12-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro exhibiting this issue to an Apple...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
whatsapp wallpapers 1

WhatsApp Affirms User Privacy Following Backlash Over Data Sharing With Facebook

Tuesday January 12, 2021 6:39 am PST by
Following backlash after changing its terms and privacy policy to consolidate a significant amount of data sharing with Facebook, WhatsApp is now assuring users about the privacy measures built into its app. Last week, WhatsApp began informing users of updates to the app's terms of service and privacy policy. The updated agreements, which users must consent to in order to continue using...
apple racial equity justice initiative propel center render 01132021

Apple Launches New Nationwide Racial Equity and Justice Initiative Projects

Wednesday January 13, 2021 4:08 am PST by
Apple today announced a set of new projects as part of its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) to help dismantle systemic barriers to opportunity and combat injustices faced by communities of color. Rendering of the Propel Center The projects include the Propel Center, a global innovation and learning hub for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), an Apple ...