A couple of weeks back, we received some unconfirmed reports stating that Apple sneaked in HomeKit support to Apple TV with the 7.0 update. But things became official on Tuesday, when the Apple TV 7.0.1 beta 2 was rolled out to developers. In the changelogs, Apple has acknowledged that the update “can be used for testing AirPlay and HomeKit with your iOS apps.”
More details were dug out by Apple Insider from Apple’s own development forums, where an engineer explains how HomeKit, CloudKit, smart appliances and Apple TV will work together to create the iHome.
All your smart gadgets connect to Apple’s HomeKit, which in turn is looked over by the CloudKit. You can log in to your iCloud account on your Apple TV and that’s it, your Apple TV becomes the central hub to controlling everything smart in your home, like bulbs, doors, garden sprinklers, thermostats and more.
[..] information from their connected home will automatically be synced with the TV accessory. This is made possible because HomeKit uses CloudKit to store home and accessory info in the cloud, while Keychain is used to store paired keys, the developer said.
Apple TV also acts as the “remote access peer” for HomeKit, so that you can control your smart home even if you are on a vacation. Using an iOS device, a Mac/PC or even from the iCloud website, you will be able to connect to your Apple TV and control the HomeKit enabled services.
Serving as a remote access peer will enable the Apple TV to help control connected accessories when they are away from home. When a user is accessing their smart home remotely, Apple’s system reportedly scans available remote access peers and searches for the one with the lowest latency.
It is now clear that future Apple TVs will play a dual role of delivering the content you love plus, automating your home. The new update, when it comes out of beta, will be available only on Apple TV 3 while, the HomeKit services are believed to be the hallmark of the next Apple TV too.