As first reported by Zac Hall from 9to5Mac, it would appear that iOS14 in relation to Apple HomeKit will get a few additional (and possible long-overdue) new features, many of which are either already available via other platforms or their respective apps, or simply can’t currently be achieved from with the HomeKit framework, at least not without a lot of patience and clever programming.
The first of these is the HomeKit equivalent of Night Shift, that’s already available on macOS and iOS. This would allow either colour or ‘tunable white’ smart bulbs to change their colour temperature over the course of the day, without having to create tons of automations in order to achieve the same thing. This would mean than in the daytime, your white bulbs would be a more blue/cool white, for more productivity and alertness, whilst the evening and nighttime would see the same bulbs slowly transcend over to orange/warm white, suitable for relaxation and eventual bedtime.
Next up are incremental updates to cameras in HomeKit. companies in this sphere have slowly begun to introduce one main feature that was touted by Apple last year, which is HomeKit Secure Video (HSV), which adds extra functionality to existing compatible HomeKit cameras. It would now appear that Apple want to build on the momentum created by interest in HSV, with a new facial recognition feature that will allow your camera to differentiate people and identify them. It’s also suggested in the original article, that “HomeKit Secure Video will likely be upgraded to not only detect people in general but also offer notifications around detecting specific people in your family.”
The third and final suggested update of note is generally more to do with Airplay 2 than HomeKit specifically, but as Airplay 2 devices are exposed to HomeKit, it’s of relevance nonetheless. This would take the form of an option to select a permanent audio option from Apple TVs. this would mean that if you use a HomePod as your audio output when watching shows and films on Apple TV, you won’t have to change it each time the HomePod (or any other Airplay 2 device) is used for something else, which seems to currently be the case.
All in all, aside from the proposed updates for cameras, these are really minor updates, when you consider that companies like Hue have been able to do time-sensitive colour temperature changes for a while now, but if this is the tip of the iceberg for improvements, then it’s welcome all the same.