Apple TV will be required for HomeKit devices to function

Earlier today Apple confirmed the Apple TV will play a large role in HomeKit, claiming users with an third generation Apple TV will be able to access HomeKit devices on an iPhone device when away from home.

If you have an Apple TV (3rd generation or later) with software version 7.0 or later, you can control HomeKit-enabled accessories when you’re away from home using your iOS device.

The first HomeKit devices are expected to release at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference this month. Apple has been working on the platform that will allow smart home devices to speak to the cloud and other devices.

HomeKit is focused heavily on consumer Internet of Things technologies, meaning the Apple TV and iPhone support is a valuable way of making customers purchase both items.

That said, it might also turn off consumers that want to access smart home devices like a dog camera or washer without having to own an Apple TV. At least Apple dropped the price of its set-top box to £59 ($69), to make customers more likely to buy it.

Google announced its own Internet of Things platform, Project Brillo, a much broader look at IoT for both consumer and business needs. Google also announced Weave, a common language for IoT devices to speak to one another.

Even though Google’s platform does sound better, we still don’t know what changes Apple has made to HomeKit over the past year. We might see some new smart home functionality unavailable on Project Brillo.

Knowing Apple’s pull on developers, HomeKit might also come with a flurry of device announcements to beef up the platform. Works with Nest is the big rival platform at the moment, making Google’s list of connected devices a strong competitor.