HomeKit in iOS 14 will recognize your face, adjust lighting based on the time of day, and more

HomeKit router splash screen displayed on an iPhone
HomeKit router splash screen displayed on an iPhone (Image credit: Christopher Close / iMore)

What you need to know

  • iOS 14 could bring some big changes to HomeKit.
  • Lights will automatically change their temperature based on the time of day.
  • Cameras will also be able to recognize people using their faces.

Apple looks set to give HomeKit some love when iOS 14 rolls around later this year, according to reports. Users can look forward to smarter smart lights, new camera facial recognition, and improved Apple TV audio routing.

This all comes via a new 9to5Mac report that takes a dive into what we can expect come September's likely release.

Starting things out is what appears to be Night Shift, but for the lights in our homes rather than the screens attached to our computers. The report says that we can expect lights to automatically adjust their temperature based on the time of day – cooler in the mornings and warmer in the evenings. The theory is that it will be easier on the eye, helping people wind down at the end fo the day as a result.

HomeKit already allows users to alter the color, brightness, and temperature of their lights either manually or via automation. But this new system will do it automatically, without anyone needing to do any more than flick a switch in the Home app.

Apple is also set to improve on the HomeKit Secure Video feature it added with iOS 13 but allowing cameras to recognize people based on their appearance. It's likely that users will then receive tailored notifications based on who is present.

Finally, Apple TV isn't going to be left out. The report claims that owners of Apple's set-top box will be able to configure an audio output that will be used by default, such as a HomePod. Currently, users must select an output manually using AirPlay 2.

It's still early days for iOS 14 and with Apple likely to announce it this coming June – whether WWDC goes ahead or not – there is still time for features to change. Or as often happens, be removed completely. Apple has been known to kill features during the beta phase, too. We'll have to see what makes the cut when Apple makes iOS 14 available to everyone in or around September time.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.