HomeKit news, NFC Apple Watch band Shortcuts, and more on HomeKit Insider

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On the latest episode of HomeKit Insider, we discuss some great iOS Shortcuts — such as launching a HomeKit scene from a special Apple Watch band — and we bring you the latest news, plus more answers to users' HomeKit questions.

Since the last episode, Apple has brought iOS 14.4 out of beta and into everyone's hands. Amongst various other improvements, the headline for HomeKit users is that we all now have the updated Handoff experience on HomePod mini.

Looking more to future products, this week also saw some clues on the FCC's database, concerning an as-yet unannounced Eve weather device — with Thread support. Thread is the new smart home connectivity standard, and it's only going to get better and better as more devices support it.

Back to what you can do with HomeKit right now, Stephen discusses how created new automation Shortcuts using the NFC in his new Linq Apple Watch band. Now with just a tap, for instance, he can resume the last podcast episode he was listening to. He'll explain what you can do, and exactly why he simply had to try it out.

Then Andrew shares some HomeKit Shortcuts of his own, such as his latest, which turns on the TV, opens the Apple TV remote on his iPhone, and also changes the lights based on time of day.

Listener questions

This week was a packed episode so we only managed to fit in a few listener questions this time around so keep listening if your question didn't get answered this time around.

David asked us if there was a way to add a HomeKit button to his laundry room, that when pressed, would start a countdown timer that would signal when his laundry would be finished. Answering that takes us deep into integrating HomeKit buttons into Shortcuts, as well as the ability to have HomePod read text based on a shortcut.

Christofer then asked us to speculate about the future of Thread and whether or not the upcoming iPhone would have Thread integrated.

Be sure to submit your own questions for us to answer on the show in the next episode.

Links from the show

Stay tuned for more!

Send your feedback to Stephen and Andrew via email or ask as us questions on Twitter @StephenRobles and @Andrew_OSU.

Please also leave a rating or review us on Apple Podcasts to help us improve the show as we move forward.

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