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Apple’s smart home initiative could be awesome – even if it sounds boring at first

Published May 30th, 2014 2:45PM EDT
Apple iPhone Connected Smart Home

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Apple will reportedly unveil its own smart home plans at WWDC next week, but users shouldn’t expect any new Apple products or amazing software features for the home just yet, a GigaOm report seems to suggest. Apparently the company will not introduce any major products for the home, and will instead simply try to connect more home appliances and devices made by others to iOS products through its “Made for iPhone” (MFi) certification program.

“My sources, who spoke only on background because of their involvement or knowledge of the program, explain that the smart home effort will have a heavy focus on connecting devices easily via Wi-Fi and will likely offer voice control via Bluetooth as well,” the publication wrote. “However, it won’t have some sort of software-based automation layer controlled by Apple that supersedes the original apps.”

Apple’s move towards offering a better connected home experience may be a lot more interesting than it sounds, as the company’s MFi certification process will ensure that devices and appliances will easily work with iPhones and other iOS devices. Rather than having to look for connected devices and iOS apps that could be used to remotely control them, a process that may be a lot more tedious than it sounds, buyers could simply shop for MFi certified devices that will seamlessly work with Apple’s smartphones and tablets.

As with other products, Apple appears to be interested in offering a great user experience with any home-related initiatives, and may be just laying the foundation for its future smart home iOS-related automated features.

The MFi devices will require special chips and support for Apple’s Wireless Accessory Configuration (WAC), and Apple will likely introduce the first participating partners ready to offer such connected devices for home use in the near future. GigaOm says that Apple isn’t likely to announce special software features on top of the expansion of its MFi program, as Apple is more interested in gauging the market for now, “and help consumers carve a path through the confusing mess that connected devices for the home can be today.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.