Apple leak teases homeOS platform that might be a new way to control your smart home (2024)

Apple leak teases homeOS platform that might be a new way to control your smart home (1)

Apple appears to be working on a new operating system called homeOS, and while we don’t know exactly what products will run it, given the name it looks like Apple could be planning a revamp of its smart home ecosystem.

MacRumors has discovered a few references to 'homeOS' in the latest developer beta of tvOS 17.4. Those references don't include any clues as to what the OS is capable of, but given that the name is appearing in code for other operating systems it’s likely that Apple is testing its compatibility ahead of a planned launch.

As always, until Apple officially announces homeOS there’s no guarantee we’ll see it released publicly, and even if a smart home revamp is on the horizon, Apple could call the operating system something else; ahead of the Vision Pro launch Apple looked set to call its software xrOS or realityOS – even trademarking these names – before settling on VisionOS.

That said, this isn’t Apple’s first official reference to homeOS. The name first appeared in job listings the company posted back in 2021, before those were altered after 'homeOS' was spotted by reporters.

A new home for Apple tech?

Apple leak teases homeOS platform that might be a new way to control your smart home (2)

Currently, Apple has two smart home product lines – its HomePod and HomePod mini smart speakers – that use its HomeKit smart home network and the Matter standard. In our Apple HomePod 2 review, we commended the most recent release’s sound quality, but its lack of Bluetooth support and Siri’s limited usefulness make it tough to recommend as a smart speaker for a household not filled with Apple tech.

Rumors suggest that Apple could be planning to launch a third HomePod model with a screen, either releasing a standalone product, or enabling users to attach an iPad mini to their HomePod. With the scope of its smart home tech evolving, it would make sense that Apple would want to introduce a new operating system to unify its products, rather than continuing to use a modified tvOS for HomePod as it currently does.

If a new HomePod is on the way there’s no telling when or how Apple might announce it – the HomePod 2 was surprisingly announced via a press release, rather than on-stage at an event like most Apple products. But if new software is coming then we might see it announced at this year's WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, which usually takes place in June.

This would give software developers the chance to find out more about the new operating system, so that they could potentially start working on apps for it. We’ll have to wait and see if the announcement is made at WWDC 2024, or another event.

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Apple leak teases homeOS platform that might be a new way to control your smart home (3)

Hamish Hector

Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.

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Apple leak teases homeOS platform that might be a new way to control your smart home (2024)


Does Apple have something like Google home? ›

HomePod, HomePod mini, and Apple TV. The keys to even more control. The Home app can do even more with the help of your HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV. Each one can be set up as a smart home hub, 3 giving you access to your home while you're away and letting you automate all of your home's smart accessories.

What is the use of Apple home? ›

The Home app makes it easier to control all your smart home accessories 1 — on all your Apple devices. It's secure and protects your personal data. And with HomePod, HomePod mini or Apple TV set up as the ultimate home hub, the Home app unlocks the full potential of your smart home.

What is the difference between Apple Home and Google Home? ›

HomeKit is tightly regulated by Apple, which allows it to offer a streamlined experience that works flawlessly with all products in its catalog. Google, meanwhile, offers more freedom — its catalog is much larger than HomeKit and developers are largely free to use the software as they see fit.

What is Apple's version of Alexa? ›

Amazon, Apple and Google are the brands that create the top smart speakers, and each brand has its own voice-based smart assistant. Amazon has Alexa, Apple has Siri and Google has Google Assistant. Each brand then has a range of smart speakers with these assistants built-in.

What is the one app for all smart devices? ›

The name of the app that can connect various types of smart home devices in one place is "Home Assistant." Home Assistant is an open-source home automation platform that allows you to integrate and control smart devices from different manufacturers and technologies within a single unified interface.

What is the Apple Home key? ›

Some lock makers provide the ability to unlock your door with a home key in Apple Wallet on your compatible iPhone and Apple Watch (Series 4 and later). You add a home key to Apple Wallet with the Home app on your iPhone.

Does Apple have a device like Google nest? ›

Apple HomePod Mini

Apple's small, Siri-enabled smart speaker bridges a strange gap between its competitors with a $100 price tag like Google's Nest Audio and the Amazon Echo, and other, cheaper speakers that come in small packages like the Nest Mini and Echo Dot.

What is the Apple equivalent of Google? ›

But the best evidence of Apple's search efforts can be seen in Spotlight, which helps users find things across their devices. A couple of iOS and macOS versions ago, Apple started adding web search results to this tool, pointing users directly to sites that might answer their questions.

What is Apple's equivalent to Google Assistant? ›

Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, is available on iOS devices, HomePod smart speakers, and other Apple products.

Is Apple's HomePod worth it? ›

“HomePod is a powerhouse of a speaker. Apple‑engineered audio technology and advanced software deliver high‑fidelity sound throughout the room.” This set expectations rather high. The HomePod didn't exactly blow me away, but it was a capable speaker, especially for the price.


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