Apple is working on a new Home accessory that is designed to serve as a central hub for smart home management. The Apple TV and the HomePod are already home hubs and almost all Apple devices can control a HomeKit setup, but Apple is designing an all-in-one home management product to make control even easier.
This guide aggregates everything that we know about the Apple Home display product that’s in development.
According to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman, the display is going to look similar to an iPad. In fact, he described it as akin to a low-end iPad, which suggests that it could resemble the entry-level 10th-generation iPad.
We don’t know concrete details about sizing, but it would be designed to mount to walls and other objects using magnetic fasteners, so it could be positioned in the most central part of the home. A mounted design would make it more integrated into a house than something like an iPad, and it would provide a centralized spot for anyone inside the home to control HomeKit and Matter-connected products.
Right now, both HomeKit and Matter devices need to be controlled from an iPhone, iPad, or Mac, and each person in the home needs to be individually invited to a HomeKit setup, which can be a hassle if there are guests in the house or for quick controls when an Apple device is not handy.
Presumably, two or more of the Home displays will be able to work with one another for use in separate rooms, similar to how the HomePod and Apple TV work now.
In addition to being able to be used for smart home control purposes, the display could allow for streaming video and making FaceTime calls. It would have a built-in speaker, so it could also be some kind of iPad and HomePod hybrid device, which we’ve heard rumors about previously.
An Apple-designed smart home management product with an integrated display would compete with other smart home devices from companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google. Facebook, for example, makes the Meta Portal, a device that can control Alexa-based products and that allows for video calls with friends and family.
Amazon makes the Echo Show, a smart display with a speaker and a 10-inch display. It can be used for controlling smart home products, watching video, making calls, and more. Google offers the Nest Hub Max for streaming content, listening to music, and controlling products that integrate with the Google smart home system.
With almost all of Apple’s major competitors offering an in-home device that is designed to serve as a hub for controlling smart home products and making calls, it’s not hard to imagine a similar device from Apple.
Apple is said to be targeting a 2024 launch date for the smart home display, but when in 2024 remains to be seen.