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WWDC 2014: iOS 8 Could Introduce Home Automation Features that Can Trump Google + Nest

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | May 30, 2014 10:51 AM EST

This coming WWDC 2014 in June 2-6, Apple might release the iOS 8 but up till now, only little information about Apple's iOS 8 is known. In fact, aside from the Healthbook, the Cupertino tech giant is perhaps competing with Google's acquisition of the home automation company Nest.

As the iPhone 6 is envisioned to give important hardware changes, the iOS 8 could bring improvements and changes to the iOS experience for years to come.

According to The Financial Times, via The Verge, Apple may be planning to help consumers and users to manage appliances, lighting, home security systems and more using mobile devices. Just like the "Made for iPhone" program, which permits third-parties to add Apple's branding to accessories, we could possibly see Apple-approved home automation apps and hardware for iOS 8.

Apple Smart Home vs. Google + Nest

Back in January, Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion while Apple chose to rely on third-parties for the low low price of free.

Although the Google owned Nest might potentially give the company direct control over how Android home automation is done, third-party manufacturers working with Apple offer variety to its clientele.

With Google only relying on Nest for home automation, this could be beneficial for the company as Nest devices that can communicate with one another are likely to function flawlessly compared to random third-party devices that are not really compatible with each other in more ways than one. Furthermore, Apple puts restrictions on what apps can work with its devices, which means that there will be fewer app restrictions compared to Android.  

Home Automation Features on iPhone

There is a myriad of products that allow iPhone users in iOS 7 to control their homes. One example is the Philips Hue lightbulb, which is a little pricey for $199 but it allows users to control the lighting colour and pattern using the iPhone. Also, users can set alarms to turn on lighting at a particular time.

Moreover, products like the Pivot Power Genius or Aros AC allows users to turn on and off plugged devices by using the iPhone. And in addition to working wirelessly, an app allows users to activate their appliances from anywhere.

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