Every Sunday we summarize the events of the last seven days. This week we’ve seen new software updates from Apple, some disappointment with the HomeKit architecture upgrade, and a new lamp from Philips Hue.
No new HomePod mini
After Apple released a new version of the large HomePod, many are also expecting a new HomePod mini. However, according to Mark Gurman, Apple is not actively working on a new device.
This also sounds understandable, since the large model does not offer any real innovations compared to the small HomePod mini. Instead, Apple also delivers new features for the HomePod mini with a software update.
No HomeKit architecture upgrade with iOS 16.3
The optional upgrade changes the architecture of HomeKit and should provide improved stability as well as faster response times. In addition, new features will require the upgrade.
SwitchBot Blind Tilt: Retrofit blinds motor in HomeKit
Right at the beginning of the year, we were able to tell you about the prospects at SwitchBot in terms of the Matter Standard. According to current plans, the SwitchBot Hub 2 will be available for purchase in late February, early March. This brings many of the company’s existing Bluetooth devices into the Apple HomeKit world. In addition to the SwitchBot Curtain, the SwitchBot Lock and the SwitchBot Bot, this is also planned for the all-new SwitchBot Blind Tilt.
The SwitchBot Blind Tilt is a smart motor that can be attached to your existing blinds in just a few steps to make them smart. Particularly exciting, of course, is the news that SwitchBot has shared with us that the SwitchBot Blind Tilt will also talk to the Hub 2 and thus Matter in the future with an over-the-air (OTA) firmware update. Currently, we use the Blind Tilt via Homebridge in HomeKit. All details about the device, including our community discount code, can be found in our current review.
HomeKit devices at Lidl
This week, the discounter Lidl again had some Smarthome devices on offer in Germany. In addition to various lamps for indoor and outdoor use, there was also an outdoor socket.
The prerequisite for the operation of the Zigbee devices is the appropriate HomeKit gateway. However, this can currently only be purchased via the manufacturer’s online store. The offers are also still available there.
Use ambient sounds in HomeKit
In addition, an active Apple Music subscription is no longer required. Ambient sounds can be used in automations, scenes and alarms as well as via Siri.
Climate sensor widget causes confusion
The widgets offered by Apple Home to display HomeKit devices on the lock screen sometimes cause confusion.
The displayed value of the climate sensor widget does not reflect a specific sensor value, but calculates the average value of all devices displayed in the Home apps summary.
Philips Hue: New lamp and price increases
But there are not only positive things to report. As previously announced, price increases for ceiling luminaires and outdoor products will take effect on February 1. If you are thinking to buy a certain product, you should act fast. However, only a few products have been listed on Amazon for a few days, probably due to missing energy efficiency classes. You’ll have more luck at tink or in the manufacturer’s own online store.