Apple announces third-party support for Siri and other HomeKit updates at WWDC 2021
What you need to know
- Apple has announced a ton of updates to HomeKit at WWDC 2021.
- Siri is coming to third-party devices for the first time.
When you get home, you can now use your Apple Watch to unlock the door to your house.
Siri and Apple TV are finally getting a meaningful update as well. Now, you can ask Siri on your HomePod mini to play something on your Apple TV. Speaking of Apple TV, SharePlay and Shared with You is coming to it as well, so you can easily watch the things that friends and family have shared with you or, if you want, you can watch it all together.
The Apple TV home screen now has a new row called "For All of You" that is great for things like movie night. The row features content that is recommended and appropriate for the entire family that is tailored to the tastes that everyone in the family has. There are also, of course, some new screensavers for the Apple TV.
When you're watching content on your Apple TV 4K, you'll now be able to use two HomePod minis as your stereo speaker setup. The HomePod mini will also be getting support for Lossless Audio in more countries like Austria, Ireland, and New Zealand later this month. Italy will also get support but not until the end of the year.
Personalized voice recognition is also coming to the HomePod mini in all of the countries that it is shipped.
Speaking of voice, Siri is now coming to third-party devices, an enormous change for Apple. Siri has always been exclusive to Apple devices, but other brands can now add support for the voice assistant on their devices.
Apple also has some handy updates for the Home app on Apple Watch, including the ability to use Intercom to broadcast messages or access accessories that support the new Matter standard. You can even see your doorbell's video feed through the app and greet visitors from your wrist.
HomeKit and the Home app can you now even detect when you receive a package at your house and alert you to it. Speaking of getting alerted, Apple is now supporting cameras on Apple TV, so you can control nearby accessories like lights in a garden on the camera you are looking at.
While all of these are great improvements to the Home and HomeKit experience, third-party support for Siri is the biggest change of all when it comes to the devices you use in your home.
All of the new features announced today will be available to developers as a beta starting today, to public beta users in July, and to all users this fall.
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.