There were some exciting developments in the Apple Home and Matter world this week. From new WiZ lights with Matter integration to the latest iOS 17 features, here are the week’s highlights.
New WiZ Lamps Introduced with Matter Integration
WiZ has caught the attention of Apple Home users with the Matter update for its existing lamps and fixtures. The company this week unveiled new products that seamlessly integrate with Apple Home thanks to Matter.
New products include the versatile WiZ Portrait desk lamp with individually adjustable ring and main light, and the weatherproof WiZ Outdoor LED Strip.
Apple Home: New Features with iOS 17
Apple released its next major software releases this week, including iOS 17, watchOS 10 and tvOS 17, which also affect Apple Home users. New features include nightstand “StandBy” mode for the iPhone, activity history for certain HomeKit devices, design changes to the Apple Home app and upcoming Matter updates.
The Apple Watch app has been revamped, and iPadOS 17 enables lockscreen widgets on the iPad. On the Mac, widgets can now be placed in the desktop area and tvOS 17 brings an improved control center for Apple Home users. You can find all the changes in this post.
Philips Hue Integrates Matter: What Does It Mean for Apple Home Users?
Philips Hue has now released support for Matter on the Hue Bridge. This enables the integration of luminaires, switches and sensors via the Matter standard.
The Matter integration offers the advantage of integrating third-party devices with Apple Home, giving Apple users more flexibility in choosing their smarthome devices. Still, Matter won’t add significant value for existing HomeKit users for now, and we don’t recommend installing it.
Philips Hue with account obligation in the future
Philips Hue plans to tie control of its lights to the need for a user account in the future, the company announced via its app and X.
Users who have been using their lamps without an account will soon have to create one to continue using the Hue app.
Amazon Introduces Mesh Router with Thread and Matter Support
This week, Amazon introduced the Eero Max 7, a tri-band mesh router with Wi-Fi 7 technology that can deliver speeds of up to 9.4 Gbps. Additionally, it acts as a smarthome hub and is compatible with Thread, Matter and Zigbee devices.
So far, however, it does not seem to function as a HomeKit router, at least not at market launch. In the past, Amazon sometimes added this feature only through a subsequent update. With a price of 699.99€, the new model is certainly not a bargain. A concrete release date has yet to be announced, but those interested can sign up for notifications on the product page.
Finding Siri Remote with iPhone
If your Siri Remote often disappears between the sofa cushions or is hidden by the kids, you will certainly appreciate the new search function via the iPhone in iOS 17. Similar to an AirTag, it allows you to accurately locate your remote. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
- Open the Control Center on your iPhone by swiping down from the top edge.
- Tap the icon for the Apple TV Remote.
- Select the Siri Remote you are looking for and tap the “Search” button. Then wait for the notification that the remote control has been found. Note that you may have to walk around a bit to connect to the Siri Remote.
- Once the Siri Remote is located, you’ll see a white dot on the screen that gets bigger the closer you get to the remote. Text on the display tells you if you’re close, far, or right next to it.
- Tap “Found” to confirm the location, or select “Continue searching” to continue the search.