back to article Apple pulls massive HomeKit chip U-turn to keep up with Amazon Echo and Google Home

Apple has made a huge reversal in its HomeKit smart-home technology, in an effort to keep up with Amazon and Google. The iPhone giant has insisted for years that any third parties wishing to create HomeKit-compatible products have to include a special Apple-specified MFi coprocessor (such as this one) in order to authenticate …

  1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Forgetting why Apple exists

    Apple exists because it opened up to public standards when it released OS X. Suddenly you could bring a Mac to work and connect up with everything else, and people did just that. There was modern software, open standards, backwards compatibility APIs, and familiar programming languages that pulled in developers. THAT is when Apple didn't go out of business. That is why Apple exists today.

    The iPhone made Apple famous but it happened long after they nearly went out of business selling shitty Performas running MacOS 8 and 9 in slow motion. With that fame, Apple has started viewing the rest of the world as competition to crush or enslave. It's quite a shock when you can't buy a new Apple product because it's so locked down with proprietary mechanisms that it actually doesn't work with your older Apple products. This is when Apple starts failing again.

    1. SuccessCase

      Re: Forgetting why Apple exists

      “With that fame, Apple has started viewing the rest of the world as competition to crush or enslave.”

      No it’s quite clear they don’t view the world this way. If they did they would make low cost iPhones for India. If they did they wouldn’t consistently aim at the top 10% of the market and only the top 10%, quite happily leaving the rest of the market on the table. Steve Jobs business insight was precisely that in the old PC versus Mac era, in his words, the relationship between Microsoft and Apple “is not a zero sum game where for one to succeed the other has to fail.” Whereas for years that is how Microsoft had viewed it.

  2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge


    PS: Apple is reportedly thinking about putting SIM cards and Intel radio modems into its future smartwatches.

    They may even be thinking of inviting The Register to the press launch

    1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

      Re: Invitation

      Hah. Will Intel modem business really last that long? Also, I'm not convinced that Apple doesn't hate SIM cards even more than they hate El Reg.

      Let's make a prediction then: we'll likely see a Reg journalist being present on the launch of the smartwatch without SIM, without cellular modem, and during inquiry it'll become apparent that the smartwatch does not exist either. In the proper Cheese Shop style.

  3. Oh Homer

    "tested thoroughly by MFI"

    Does this mean it'll be a price-busting bargain at MFI's Never Ending Biggest Ever Sale?

  4. Warm Braw Silver badge

    For users, it meant guaranteed builtin security...

    Not sure whether the takeaway message from this is that users simply won't pay for security or that there's no point in proprietary security or that the need for regulation is becoming overwhelming. Probably all three.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For users, it meant guaranteed builtin security...

      Just because you have a secure walled garden it doesn't mean that people will visit it.

      Security always yields to functionality,

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So security doesn't matter then?

    It seems business as usual at apple, all talk, no trousers. Not that their braindead customer base will know or understand..

  6. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    Proprietary Security

    Isn't security unless its assembled from well tested security, which pretty much by definition, means non proprietary.

  7. jacksmith21006

    It is just another example of the weakening of Apple. The problem is when you are doing great things you have the influence but they just no longer are.

    My wife clicks the shutter button on her iPhone and without touching an additional button will later walk into our family room and ask for very, very fine details in photos like "hey Google how me johnny skateboarding from my photos on the TV" and the TV turns itself on, input sets and her iPhone photos in 4k appears on the largest screen in the house.

    I can NOT see my iPhone photos in 4K, let alone HDR, on the largest screen in the house from any hardware from Apple. That is simply insane.

    There is no less friction possible. She always clicked her shutter button and do NOTHING additional she can walk into a room and do this.

    But it is about setting up and not just using. She simply purchased, plugged in and logged in and Google made it all work together. No skills to download or any configuration at all. We have a Google Home and a 4K Chromecast. We were already using Google Photos.

    I do NOT see how an Apple Homepod or a new Apple TV or anything could make the integration any better. It is as friction free as you can get. Well I guess if instead of talking it read your mind.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seamless Integration

      Good for you that you have everything working like you do.

      I hope you fully understand that you are giving your life, your universe, your everything to Google by doing that. They will use that data and sell it on to Ad agencies the world over.

      Google was once known for 'Do No Evil'. They lost the 'No' years ago. They can only exist and make money by knowing more and more about you, your family and lifestyle. You are making it easy for them.

      Is Apple just as bad? Well, they have said many times that they won't sell any data they have on you to others. How good that promise is, I don't know but so far it is holding up.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      I'm confused. Your wife's iPhone works fine, and your's doesn't?

      Also, isn't "insane" just a bit strong about some usability issue?

      You don't state what your TV is hooked up to.

  8. arthoss

    It took you two months to notice that?

    1. ThomH

      It's HomeKit news, so: if a tree falls in a forest, etc. Home automation is the biggest consumer hit since 3d television.

  9. kmac499

    LIke the analysis but in ranking of importance I think it should be 3,2,1

    I also like the "Never embarass Apple rule" as in "ooh look the Emeperor has no clothes".

  10. Your alien overlord - fear me

    No one seems to have mentioned

    that rather than pay Apple for a piece of hardware, you'll now pay twice as much for a software security licence !!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love Apple.

  12. cb7

    "It means greater interoperability"

    Like f*ck it does. Since when has Apple given a shit about interoperability with devices from other manufacturers unless it serves Apple's intrests?

    1. Paul

      A concrete example of Apple's statements over proprietary standards:

      Apple once did they'll publish the FaceTime standards to allow interoperability, that never happened.

      1. Kebablog

        This might have been a convienient reason not to open up the platform at the time....

  13. Beech Horn

    Partner's surely knew

    There was lots of "coming early 2017" from the likes of Tado, Ring, etc

    If you look at the Ring Doorbell Pro for instance, which was advertised as supporting HomeKit, there was no Apple chip in it and asking support there was no requirement for a hub.

  14. Nifty Silver badge

    Next up, Apple TV gets a real app store. Credit card's ready.

  15. ForthIsNotDead

    Are Apple still a thing?


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is funny to me how Windows/PC/Android users turn any Apple article into an Apple bashing forum!! If you are so against Apple, why are you even wasting your time reading Apple news??

    Turning to the article, I believe it when Apple says they only opened to software-based security once it could be done. Apple is very aware of the security risks when ANY device is connected to your home network. In speaking to professional security consultants (friends) who regularly are tasked to break into devices, Apple products are among the most secure on the market..and in many cases ARE the most secure. I am shocked when I hear the frequency with which criminals do in fact gain entrance into personal networks through home connected devices. Facts given to me by industry professionals.

    Yes, I am a hard-core Apple user. I upgraded..uhh I mean Apple about 8 years ago when I finally became fed up with the constant down-time I had with Windows/PC based systems over the course of 25+ yrs. I am typing this message on the same MacBook Pro laptop I bought 8 years ago, I use it daily, my performance is still very acceptable and battery will still last two hours when unplugged. Not many Windows/PC users can boast that--if any at all!!

    Having said all of the above, I do, as a long time tech geek, recognize the advantages of a Windows/PC system in initial cost, the ability to customize hardware, tweak software and the variety of options available. I am helping someone build a Windows gaming computer, something you simply cannot do in the Mac world. But when it comes to just common everyday usage, I strongly believe that Macs win hands down in usability and cost over the long run!! I mean, c'mon, 8 years on the same laptop and still going strong!!

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