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Support for more smart home accessories arriving in iOS 17.6

Apple's Home app is about to be more powerful

Apple looks to support several new smart home accessories with the upcoming iOS 17.6 update, according to a public code repository.

The revelation comes by way of the implementation source code for Matter, an Apple-backed smart home standard. Matter is also open source, hence its public-facing code repository.

Recently, there have been a number of new changes referencing new features coming to unannounced versions of Apple's platforms.

Code additions reference support coming for these new features in the "middle of 2024" to iOS 17.6, macOS 14.6, watchOS 10.6, and tvOS 17.6.

- release: "Middle of 2024"


iOS: "17.6"

macOS: "14.6"

watchOS: "10.6"

tvOS: "17.6"

Matter logo with a bunch of accessory icons hovering around it
Matter still hopes to unify the smart home

As far as what new features we'll see, some of what we've seen point to supporting new features that were recently implemented in the Matter 1.3 spec.

This includes more robust air quality monitoring, power management, and water valves. There appear to be references to CO, CO2, formaldehyde, PM10, PM2.5, PM1, and radon monitoring in the code strings.

There are other references as well, including to robotic vacuum cleaners. Those were part of the Matter 1.2 update.

That said, we can't conclusively say this will finally be support in iOS 17.6.

The commits on the Github repo were accredited to username bzbarsky-apple, or Boris Zbarsky. The Apple software references were only added in the last few days.

Zbarsky, a former software engineer from Mozilla, has been with Apple for the past four years.

Apple has yet to formalize any of these updates, though the first betas are expected to be released before WWDC 2024 kicks off on June 10. More changes could be in store for iOS 18.

Thanks to Derek Seaman for the tip