Apple boosting HomeKit as it brings the fight to Google and Amazon

Company is on a hiring spree to catch rivals' lead

HomeKit's future looks brighter
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Apple is ramping up efforts around the smart home to catch up with Amazon and Google, if its latest hiring spree is any indication.

Bloomberg reports that the company has posted 15 job listings for engineers to work on HomeKit and smart home devices. It also says Apple has been privately recruiting from the smart home industry.

These listings hint at new smart home devices, with mention of supply chain expertise and development on battery-powered devices with camera modules.

Read this: Best HomeKit devices

Apple's whole smart home effort is led by former Mozilla chief technology officer Andreas Gal, who Apple snapped up last year when it acquired his company Silk Labs.

This all comes as Apple continues to fall behind Google and Amazon in the smart home space, both of which have much larger and richer ecosystems. At its September hardware event, Amazon boasted that there are currently 85,000 devices compatible with its Alexa platform, while Google says it has more than 10,000.

As Bloomberg points out, Apple currently lists around just 450 compatible HomeKit devices on its site, illustrating the need for it to ramp up efforts if it wants to compete.

Apple has particularly struggled in bringing video doorbells and cameras onto the HomeKit platform. The Arlo Ultra was the latest smart cam to get support, but the handful of options is still meagre compared to Amazon and Google.

It's possible we could see more first-party smart home devices from Apple in the future. A cheaper HomePod has long been rumored, but we wouldn't be surprised to see Apple try its hand at other product types including cameras, speakers and – hey, why not – maybe a smart display.



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