HomeKit Weekly: If it doesn’t work with Siri, it’s just not a smart home

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.


Series 4 box wraps Apple Watch and band separately, new pouch; no brick with Series 3 GPS

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…


Best CarPlay apps for iPhone

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…

1Password now works with Password Autofill on iOS 12

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.


HomePod update adds multiple timers, Find My iPhone, making and receiving phone calls, and more

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.


tvOS 12 now available for Apple TV 4 and Apple TV 4K, brings Dolby Atmos audio, screensaver updates, more

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 now available with performance boosts, Screen Time, smarter notifications, much more

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:


Which Apple Watch should you buy? Here’s how Series 4 compares

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.


9to5Mac Happy Hour 190: Apple Watch Series 4, iPhone Xs, and iPhone XR event impressions

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!

9to5Mac Happy Hour is available on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, Stitcher, TuneInGoogle Play Music, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.

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