An important question regarding the new smart home standard Matter concerns the fate of Apple’s proprietary features. At least for Apple Home Key, the fast and easy unlocking of door locks by placing an iPhone or Apple Watch, we now have an answer.

Some features of Apple Home cannot be easily transferred to Matter. For example, HomeKit Secure Video uses a Home Hub, such as an Apple TV (4th generation or newer) or HomePod (mini), for encryption and subsequently stores the recordings in iCloud.

Apple Home Key, on the other hand, is tightly integrated with the iPhone or Apple Watch and can unlock door locks by simply placing these devices on the locks. With iOS 17, Apple intends to offer this convenience through Matter-enabled accessories.

In the official document outlining the new features of iOS 17, it states:

Enhancements for Matter Locks. Control Matter-enabled locks by using iPhone to tap to unlock the door with a home key, or set up PIN codes in the Home app.

However, the feature is not expected to be delivered directly with iOS 17 but rather through an update later in the year. It also requires the use of the new HomeKit architecture.

Apple Home Key Coming to Europe

While there have been door locks with Apple Home Key in the United States for some time, the European market has been empty in this regard. However, Aqara is working on integrating this feature with the announced SmartLock U200.

This means that starting in early 2024, there might finally be a door lock available in the European market that can be unlocked by placing an iPhone or Apple Watch on it.