Apple has removed the video doorbell page from its HomeKit website, placing in doubt whether the company plans to support the popular smart home devices.
As of this week, the Works With HomeKit page no longer lists doorbells, alongside the locks, air conditioners, garage doors and the rest of the supported IoT kit.
Previously, the page had listed the August Doorbell Cam as compatible with HomeKit via a promised updated from the company. Ring, now owned by Amazon, also promised an update to its hardware to enable HomeKit connections. Ring’s pledge was notable in particular in light of the Amazon buyout and the implications with the rival Alexa platform.
However, neither of the firms delivered on the promised update and it appears that Apple may have lost patience with the pair.
Precisely what has caused these firms not to roll out HomeKit support remains to be seen. In its report AppleInsider suggests that Apple’s ‘heavy encryption demands’ made minimising A/V lag problematic for both August and Ring. If the audio or video feed is slightly behind what users are seeing on their phone or tablet screens that’s annoying at best and risky at worst.
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Unless Apple has its own doorbell in mind, the lack of them could leave a prominent hole in the HomeKit platform. Many of the smart locks on the market team up with the smart door locks, enabling users to check the live video feed and then unlock their door to let the delivery person, guest, or useless offspring who has forgotten their keys again, back into the house.
Of course it’s entirely possible Apple will re-add the doorbell page to the HomeKit website once devices become available, but in the meantime it’s an annoyance for those hoping to base their smart home around Apple’s platform.
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