The return of the HomePod was just the first step. Apple would prepare several products to conquer your home, including connected screens, a kind of iPad that could be fixed to a wall or on a stand.
Apple conquering your home, again! While it brought its HomePod back to life yesterday, Apple would have other, even stronger ambitions to settle everywhere in your home.
Apple, ready to invade the bay of Echo Show
Mark Gurman, still him, who reads in Apple as in an open book, indeed indicates that the Cupertino giant would work on different products to compete with Amazon and Google. One would be a more capable Apple TV, expected in the first half of 2024, and another would be a device incorporating a home automation touchscreen. In other words, Apple would attack the segment of connected devices with screen, from which it has kept a distance so far.
The arrival in the world of connected screens would begin with a first product, which could be similar to an entry-level iPad. It could control the temperature in your home, as well as the lights, while playing videos or enabling FaceTime calls. One can easily imagine that this product will find a way between that designed by the Echo Show, from Amazon, and the Pixel Tablet, from Google, once placed on its Dock. The Mountain View giant’s tablet is not yet on the market, but has been unveiled little by little over the last year.
Home automation, and, nothing else, Matter
Apple would also consider creating a dock for its iPads, which would have at least two advantages. First of all, to keep it always charged, which is not a foregone conclusion for a product that everyone in the family can use and which is sometimes abandoned without consideration for its level of charge – yes, we think of you children… Then, it could be a way to give it more footing and relevance in the house as a home automation hub, since Apple’s tablets already have skills in this area.
We saw it yesterday with the new HomePods, Apple is keeping its promise and is now integrating Matter into its devices. The protocol aims to unify all the products that make up by touch the fledgling home automation that has been installed in our homes for a few years, whether lamps, thermostats, any roller shutters, etc.
Anyway, Mark Gurman indicates that this “tablet” for the home could be fixed to a wall or elsewhere thanks to a system of magnets, which would move it away from the role of classic tablet. But Apple would also have considered producing larger connected screens for the home. Screens so big they could be small TVs? Nothing is said in this sense, but Steve Jobs said in his biography to have pierced the secret of the TV of tomorrow, and we are still waiting for it.
Siri, sensors and an affordable future?
This plan to regain your home, which has been neglected by Apple until now, will obviously rely on Siri. The voice assistant is already the easiest way – if not always effective – to quickly control the lights in your home or launch a series on Apple TV. It will obviously be necessary for the assistant to progress, gain in reliability and potential.
Nevertheless, coupled with new sensors, such as those which measure the temperature and humidity in the air – which are already present in the new HomePods and will soon be activated in the HomePod mini via an update (iOS 16.3) – home automation could gain interest.
Once again, it is on the integration between hardware and software that Apple will find its say and build its strengths. Although a little tarnished lately, its proactive stance in defending personal data could also give it an edge.
All that remains is to solve two puzzles. The first, finding the right form factors to settle in the different rooms of our house. The second, setting prices that will make as many people as possible take the plunge. Much less expensive, the HomePod mini have slipped into many homes, where the HomePod remains much more powerful but much more expensive. Let’s hope these new-fangled iPads won’t cost an arm and a leg…