“It’s Day One for HomeKit, Apple’s ambitious plan to automate our homes. But it’s been a rough first day,” Geoffrey A. Fowler writes for The Wall Street Journal. “HomeKit is supposed to help iPhones run lights, thermostats and all sorts of other appliances that can now connect to the Internet. It turns voice-assistant Siri into a genie who makes things happen around the house. You just say, “Turn on the lights,” and presto, they’re on.”
“Unfortunately, Siri just isn’t very reliable,” Fowler writes. “I’m running the first HomeKit hardware in my house, with hubs by Insteon and Lutron Caséta, but when Siri gets involved, I sometimes want to throw the iPhone out the window. She should know all my HomeKit-connected devices by name, but when I say, ‘Turn on the air filter,’ Siri presents a list of stores where I might buy one.”
“Apple is trying to do something very hard—and very important—with HomeKit,” Fowler writes. “Setting up a smart home today is hellish, and could use a good dose of Apple simplicity. Maybe Apple still can pull that off, but this first public showing is uncharacteristically crude. Yes, Apple has done the work of creating a common language for home devices—already, competing products light up together because of HomeKit. But for now, Siri is still in the dark. Did Apple bite off more than it can chew? My bet is that simplifying the smart home is so complicated, it’s still years away… As any iPhone owner can testify, Siri is occasionally hard of hearing. She’s gotten a lot better, but she still sometimes confuses words (scene/seen, up/off, lamp/lap)…”
Much more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Fowler’s review is conducted with iOS 8, not iOS 9.
In iOS 9, set for public release this fall (and on our iPhones right now in beta), Siri can search a wider range of topics for a wider range of answers, understands what you say more accurately, and delivers your results faster. iOS 9 also features new HomeKit profiles for motorized windows and shades, motion sensors and home security systems.
Therefore, because we have common sense, we’d wait for iOS 9’s public release before making any pronouncements regarding Apple’s HomeKit.