Apple bringing Siri to third-party devices is an absolute game changer

Apple unveils a raft of new HomeKit features alongside launch iOS 15 Company’s annual . In WWDC Keynote Speaker: on 7 June; From digital keys stored on your phone for your Smart Lock to package detection when your home security cameras are connected to your Apple TV via HomeKit.

But the biggest, and most important, change from Apple was to make Siri available on third-party devices. It seems like this is a huge step that has gone completely under the radar.

Starting later this year, you’ll be able to say “Hey Siri” to some HomeKit-compatible smart devices and Apple’s voice assistant will be able to understand and execute a number of commands from devices that don’t begin with lower-case ‘I’.

Apple revealed that smart thermostat maker, Ecobee, was the first brand it started working with, but highlighted that it was open to joining forces with anyone HomeKit compatible smart home device manufacturer.

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HomeKit vs. Alexa – Now a True Battle

While both Amazon and Google gave third-party manufacturers the ability to build out Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities, respectively, Apple has inexplicably waited so far to follow suit.

We’ve seen Alexa pop-up in Ecobee smart thermostats, Amazon Fire-branded TVs (which aren’t made by Amazon) and even LG refrigerators, along with third-party smart speakers from the likes of Sonos .

Google, on the other hand, has been more selective and focused on connecting TV and speaker brands to Chromebooks, Android smartphones and smart displays as well as adding Google Assistant to their devices – spreading the technology, but in a more targeted way.

This ‘proliferation’ of smart assistants certainly gives consumers more choice in the smart home devices they buy – if you’ve already invested in a sound system for your home, you might want to get one. Don’t like the idea of ​​buying additional smart speakers. Voice assistant can be used.

(Even though you can pick up an Echo Dot or Google Home Mini for as little as $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$17.99 on Black Friday and Prime Day).

However, you’re currently considering a smart thermostat or other smart home devices, and adding the bonus of a voice assistant makes it instantly more appealing.

It also makes life easier – wherever you are in your home, you’re only a few feet away from the convenience of your voice assistant, which can tell you the weather, update you on your calendar appointments, and even That just answers them are burning questions for you, and Apple has missed out on Siri becoming less prevalent in the smart home.

Unlike Alexa and Google Assistant in third party devices, you Will Using Siri on compatible smart home gadgets still requires a HomePod or HomePod Mini, as requests are relayed through Apple’s servers to ensure that your information remains private.

So while that doesn’t make Siri affordable to use on other devices, like Alexa and Google Assistant, it does mean that your data is safe—and it’s worth paying the price.

Hey Siri: Recognize my voice

Also during WWDC, Apple announced that it would bring voice recognition to Siri on the HomePod at the same time — another feature that both Alexa and Google Assistant already offer, and one that my family used regularly. have enjoyed doing.

With voice recognition I can get personalized results like traffic on my commute or an update on my calendar, and half of me can do the same – rather than miss out on the convenience of a voice assistant. Go.

There is one caveat though – other family members must have their own Apple ID in order to use voice recognition and have trained Siri to recognize their voice on another device, such as an iPhone or iPad.

Once they do, you can invite them to be a member of your smart home group and they’ll get personalized responses.

So while it won’t be useful for kids or tweens who don’t have iPhones, iPads, or Apple Watches of their own, other homes that feature multiple occupants with Apple devices can certainly benefit.

These upgrades will put Siri side by side with Alexa and Google Assistant when it comes to controlling your smart home… that is, until third-party brands take on this new feature and integrate Siri into their smart devices. add in.

We look forward to seeing what other upgrades Apple is making to ensure the HomeKit smart home is as fuss-free as possible – we’re not bothered about which brands are ‘winning’ in the smart home space, as long as consumers When it comes to embellishing their living space with more futuristic, voice-controlled technology, they have some real options.

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