There are only a few weeks left until we see, for the first time, iOS 17 in action. But before that happens, we want to remind you of a feature that arrived with iOS 16 and that invisibly gave the iPhone a new communication system with which to be able to act with different elements that, in no way, have to do with the Apple ecosystem in terms of products and services.
An invisible but very important function
The ecosystem of artificial intelligence and smart and connected objects It is in constant expansion. More and more are the accessories that we have within our reach, with which we can interact at home. Beyond typical lights, electrical appliances, curtains and energy-saving devices are becoming smart, since they have connection systems with which to interact with our phone.
Apple had always been characterized as a company with a closed ecosystem. But in the face of an increasingly competitive market, and companies competing in terms of AI assistants, such as Amazon with Alexa and Alphabet with Google Assistant, Apple had to get its act together somehow. And the terrain of the smart and connected home was a pending task.
Until not long ago, specifically, before the arrival of iOS 16, you could only use smart accessories that had been designed to be used with HomeKit, Apple’s exclusive connection protocol. So an accessory that was compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant couldn’t be controlled by Siri, HomePod or Apple TV. And, therefore, we couldn’t use the iPhone directly either.
But, in the same way that the USB type C connection has been the physical port to universalize connections, in the field of AI and technology there is a standard communications protocol, which Apple adopted with the arrival of iOS 16: Matter.
The Matter protocol multiplies the possibilities
Thanks to the addition of this language, the iPhone and Siri can now interact with all accessories for the connected home. It is no longer necessary for brands to develop a specific accessory for HomeKit. And it is not necessary that, for the user, we have to have a mixed ecosystem of voice assistants and devices to be able to control all the elements that we have connected in our house. Say goodbye to duplicating accessories and having to buy more expensive accessories just because they are designed for HomeKit.
So an Alexa-compatible accessory, if it’s compatible with Matter, will also work with the iPhone and Siri out of the box. The same goes for accessories originally designed for Google Assistant. And best of all, the manufacturers themselves can update the firmware of the device itself and the software of the application with which it is managed, providing them with compatibility with Matter. So we will not need to change the accessory or change the iPhone, to be able to control it directly. It is only necessary to update the version of the operating system to iOS 16.