On our most recent IoT Podcast, Sean called in to the voicemail hotline with a HomeKit question. He appreciates the ability to add HomeKit devices to his smart home directly through Apple’s Home app. He wants to know if the device maker’s applications are required to upgrade the firmware on those devices.
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. At least as of today.
It’s true that you don’t need to install any new apps to add a HomeKit device to your home. The provisioning functionality is essentially built in to the Apple Home app in iOS. And the Home app will tell you when there’s a firmware update for any of your connected devices.
That’s where the HomeKit worlds end, however. If one of your devices needs a firmware update, you have to have the device manufacturer’s mobile application for that device installed. And it’s from that application where you initiate the update.
So I still have most, if not all, of the third-party mobile software on my iPhone, mainly for this reason. However, I do have them hidden away so they’re not on my phone’s home screen. They’re available when I need them and out of sight when I don’t.
I did double-check Apple’s HomeKit Developer site just to see if there were any native firmware upgrade APIs or functions available, but I came up empty. So for now, you’ll have to keep those third-party smart home apps installed.
To hear Sean’s question in full, as well as our discussion on the topic, tune in to the IoT Podcast below: