The WWDC Smart Home Roundup

Apple’s 2019 WWDC Keynote announced an overwhelming amount of new hardware and software updates, and among those are several features designed to produce a better functioning smart home. I’ve gathered an isolated list of updates to our home technology. Check back here at The Autonomous for detailed analyses of some of these updates.

HomePod Multi-user Support

Multiple family members will be able to use voice recognition to make personal requests to Siri on the HomePod. This includes personal requests to Notes, Reminders, Calendar, and Apple Music.

Apple TV Multi-user Support

Like HomePod, multiple family members will be able to see personalized video recommendations within the Apple TV app and Apple Music.

Expanded Apple TV Controller Support

The Apple TV will expand its controller support to both the Xbox One S and Playstation’s Dualshock 4 controllers.

Secure Router Integration with HomeKit

Wifi routers will be able to integrate with Apple to establish a firewall specifically to keep HomeKit accessories from accessing the entirety of the home network. Current integrated brands include Eero, Linksys, and Spectrum.

Secure Video Capturing with HomeKit

Select home security brands (currently Logitech, Netatmo, and Arlo) will integrate with Apple to allow secure video processing on the home-network, before encrypting and saving to iCloud for 10 days.

AirPod Audio Sharing

With AirPods, users will be able to easily share audio - like music or podcasts - with a friends’ AirPods to simultaneously listen.

Suggested Shortcuts

The Shortcuts app is being updated with automated Shortcut suggestions. These suggestions will be custom designed based on actions taken on a regular basis by the user on their iPhone.


Follow Doug Davis on Twitter @thedougdavis and get blog updates @autonomous_blog.

What to Expect at the Apple Event

Apple is having an exciting week in the hardware department. On Monday, Apple completely altered its iPad lineup with the introduction of the iPad Air and a long-awaited spec bump to the iPad Mini. Tuesday morning began with internal updates to the 21” and 27” iMac. Finally - so far - today Apple announced the 2nd generation of AirPods, featuring the new H1 chip, hands-free “Hey Siri” support, faster switching between output devices, and an optional Qi-compatible wireless charging case. Being that it’s only Wednesday, there’s still the possibility that Apple will announce even more updates to existing products on Thursday and Friday too.

New-iPad-air-and-iPad-mini-with-Apple-Pencil-03182019.jpg
Apple-iMac-gets-2x-more-performance-03192019.jpg
Apple-AirPods-worlds-most-popular-wireless-headphones_03202019.jpg

It’s not unusual for Apple to announce updates to existing products via press release. What is unusual is Apple releasing such major updates for 3 consecutive days in a row - possibly leading to an entire week of daily updates. Not to mention, this week’s updates are coming just days before the March 25th Apple Event. In the past, the updates we’ve seen this week would typically be mentioned on stage at an Apple Event - not confined to daily press releases. But this upcoming Apple Event will probably be very different from the standard Apple Events of recent.

What to Expect at the Apple Event

https___blogs-images.forbes.com_davidphelan_files_2019_03_Screenshot-2019-03-12-at-06.04.18-1200x788.jpg

Apple’s March 25th event will likely be entirely services-oriented. I expect Apple to spend the bulk of the event announcing its new video streaming service. This will likely include TV and movie trailers for upcoming productions, changes to tvOS, and celebrity guests in order to portray the star-power Apple managed to hire for their service. In addition to the video streaming service, I also believe there are strong odds Apple will announce their news and magazine subscription service; a service adapted from their acquisition of the company, Texture. This alleged news and magazine subscription service received recent criticism from major news outlets for Apple’s desire to take 50% of subscription revenue. There’s also a rumor that Apple will be announcing a gaming subscription service at this event, although I’m not very confident in the likelihood of that occurring as soon as Monday’s event. Finally, with so many subscription services coming to fruition, I believe that it’s highly likely Apple will introduce a discounted, bundled version of all of these services; not too dissimilar from how Amazon bundled a variety of services into its Amazon Prime subscription.

What Not to Expect at the Apple Event

With so many services being announced at Monday’s event and so many hardware updates being announced the week prior, I believe it’s safe to assume that there will be no new hardware announced at this Apple Event. If my analysis of what to expect at the event is true, then I believe the event is not just a showcase of services for consumers, but also a showcase to TV and film production studios in an effort to recruit their content for Apple’s video streaming service.

Monday’s event will likely not be a tech-y showcase of new hardware. We may not even see Phil Schiller of Craig Federighi on stage, but rather the former Sony-executives heading up production on the video service. This lack of hardware at this event may be why Apple is releasing changes and updates to its hardware lineup all this week, ahead of the event. Over the years, Apple has curated an expectation of hardware and software updates revealed on stage every March, June, and September. With such an expectation from its users and fans, and what will probably be an Apple Event like no other fast approaching, I believe that Apple is satiating the expectations of the technology-lovers ahead of a not-so-tech-y Apple Event.


Follow Doug Davis on Twitter @thedougdavis and get blog updates @autonomous_blog.

It's AirPower Time

Today Apple announced an event for Monday, March 25th. It was rumored about a month ago that this event would be entirely focused on their upcoming news subscription service, but anybody who follows Apple even a little bit closely knows that while the news service might make an appearance, this year’s March event would be “The Streaming Service Event”; similarly to how the September event is ubiquitous to “The iPhone Event.” Today’s announcement essentially confirms the event’s primary purpose of introducing their new streaming service to the public with the headline of “It’s Show Time”; the same headline used in 2006 to announce the AppleTV.

Apple’s 2019 event invitation.

Apple’s 2019 event invitation.

Apple’s 2006 event invitation.

Apple’s 2006 event invitation.

Aside from the news and video services that’ll be announced, I’m also anticipating the announcement of both the AirPods 2 and the resurrection of the AirPower charging pad, which had previously been thought to have died back in 2018. I’ll be honest, when Apple allowed a full year to pass back in June 2018 without an update on AirPower, followed by completely missing their release deadline of “coming 2018,” I presumed the product deceased. It wouldn’t be unlike Apple to just pretend a failed upcoming product never existed. But to my surprise in the start of 2019, AirPower was rumored to have finally been effectively engineered and supposedly getting released in the first half of 2019. If AirPower doesn’t make an appearance on March 25th, I’ll officially give up hope when WWDC in June comes and goes without a mention as well.


Follow Doug Davis on Twitter @thedougdavis and get blog updates @autonomous_blog.