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HomeKit Weekly is a series focused on smart home accessories, automation tips and tricks, and everything to do with Apple’s smart home framework.
This column is typically used to share recommendations and advice around using HomeKit, but this week I want to zoom out and talk specifically about why you should choose HomeKit.
There are a lot of “smart home” platforms on the market and plenty of connected accessories with iPhone apps, but I actively avoid products that don’t work with Siri. If you’re deep in the Apple product ecosystem, non-HomeKit smart home products can be a serious frustration.
Alongside Apple Watch Series 4 reviews, we’re also seeing the first unboxing videos pop up online and reveal new details about packaging this year. iJustine’s unboxing and review offers a detailed look at changes to the packaging style, what’s in the box, and more. Readers have also noticed that Apple’s website highlights a change to one of the Apple Watch Series 3 versions…
One day after the official release of iOS 12 and watchOS 5, Apple has released new developer software beta versions for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Both iOS 12.1 developer beta 1 and watchOS 5.1 developer beta 1 are now available for testing. tvOS 12.1 developer beta 1 is also available.
CarPlay, Apple’s iPhone feature that brings communication and entertainment functions to the built-in screen in your car, is appearing on a lot more aftermarket displays now and the company has a long list of auto makers committed to including CarPlay in new cars.
As CarPlay support shows up from more manufacturers, we’re also seeing more developers enable CarPlay capabilities in their own apps. As it stands, iPhone apps require special approval from Apple to show up on a CarPlay-compatible display. Once you install these apps on your iPhone, they appear on your CarPlay-enabled display when you connect your iPhone. Read on for the growing list of iPhone apps that support CarPlay. more…
One of the great new enhancements of iOS 12 is Password Autofill. This brings login credentials like usernames, emails, and passwords from password vaults to iOS apps and websites right on the iOS keyboard — and it’s not just limited to Apple’s iCloud Keychain. 1Password 7.2 for iOS 12 brings full support for Password Autofill, promoting the password manager to a first-class citizen on iPhone and iPad.
Things 3.7 for iPhone, Apple Watch, and iPad on iOS 12 and watchOS 5 is here with loads of new features that take advantage of Apple’s big updates. Things now works with the Siri face for Apple Watch on watchOS 5 and Shortcuts app on iOS 12. Version 3.7 brings a handful of other improvements like smart alert management and easier password handling too.
Alongside iOS 12, Apple has released a major update for HomePod that enables key features found on other smart speakers. Siri on HomePod is now capable of handling multiple named timers — a staple feature of Amazon’s Alexa-powered Echo — which is especially useful when cooking or time tracking.
HomePod also gains the ability to ping your lost iPhone, make and receive phone calls, and fully support Siri Shortcuts. HomePod could previously be used as a speaker phone for calls, but only after you dialed out or answered on iPhone and redirected the audio.
The major watchOS 5 software update for Apple Watch is now available. watchOS 5 runs on Apple Watch Series 1 and later; the original Apple Watch is not supported. Read on to see what’s new in watchOS 5:
tvOS 12 for Apple TV (fourth-gen) and Apple TV 4K is officially out of beta and available for all users. The annual software update for Apple TV brings support for Dolby Atmos audio for movies on iTunes and other apps, screensaver details like location information, and a new zero sign-on feature for Spectrum TV and Internet customers (more providers coming in the future).
Zero sign-on automatically authenticates watch anywhere video apps from networks based on your Internet provider without the need to log in even once. Dolby Atmos brings support for more immersive audio from supported speakers and receivers; iTunes is automatically upgrading supported movies for free. This makes Apple TV the only streaming box with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support.
iOS 12 is officially out of beta and now available for everyone. The major software update for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch runs on any device that runs iOS 11 — including iPhone 5s and newer, iPad mini 2 and newer, and the latest iPod touch.
For older devices, iOS 12 should noticeably improvement performance when launching the keyboard, share sheet, taking a photo, and much more. The update is also the first version to include Screen Time which helps you manage time spent in apps and significantly upgrades parental controls. Notifications are also grouped intelligently and Do Not Disturb is much more flexible.
Read on for the official release notes to see everything new in iOS 12:
The new Apple Watch lineup is really strong — you can recommend any model that Apple currently sells without a bad experience. Apple now sells the brand new Apple Watch Series 4 and last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 at a lower price. No hardware from two and three years ago to avoid when buying. So if you’re buying your first Apple Watch or upgrading from an older model, which Apple Watch should you buy now? We’ll break down the differences.
This week Benjamin and Zac share their thoughts on the Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max, and iPhone XR event. Plus there’s positive HomePod news!
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