Apple Massively Lost Out on the Smart Home Revolution
tl;dr: Even though I have given nearly all of my digital life to Apple over the last decade, the new frontier of computing, in my home anyway, is d.o.m.i.n.a.t.e.d by not Apple and not even Google but — Amazon!
The fact that a store has my digital everything at this point is laughable for any other entity in the solar system, except Amazon. But reality is, I didn’t want this. I actually wanted Apple to win. To make me gush and lust over their elegant if-also-supposedly-more-private smart home automation apps and tools, but they are nowhere to be found in the landscape of my smart things life.
As much as I like to think I am an early adopter, the first Amazon echo device showed up in my home 9 months ago not because of my interest or curiosity in it, but because of my wife’s.
It seemed like the echo spot was a great way for her to perhaps see recipes, stay in touch with our daughter who was going to college, and perhaps a few other things.
But Amazon did something brilliant. They included a tp-link smart plug* with the purchase, which created, no lie, an avalanche of “smart” purchases in our home since then. At this point, there are several echos*, a google mini and enough “smart plugs” and bulbs that we could rebuild the house without light switches.
(My office is another story altogether, but suffice it to say, I am pretty much George Jetson when I come to work)
The thing that’s massively missing from all of this?
I have 0.000% Apple-Controlled smart devices.
Not because I haven’t tried! I have repeatedly opened the alluring Apple Home app each time I get a new plaything hoping against hope that it will magically show up. Alas, it does not, and I am left to the friendlier and more-user-friendly Alexa option or Google’s smarty-pants, Hermione-Granger-of-voice-assistants-know-it-all version which — at least connects to my things and gets what I need done.
Well, with all due respect, though she has an intimate place in all our lives these days, when it comes to anything about our smart home, she doesn’t know quite how to respond to that.
Because, at the end of the day, it was far too easy for me to get neck-deep in the hub-free, works-with-amazon-alexa ecosystem even though I own many, many Apple devices in my home. (In fact, across my large family, and counting devices people use for school, there’s more than 10 Apple devices of one size, shape or another. At least 7 of them run iOS..)
In fact, because of this, I have an Amazon FireTV Cube* instead of the Apple TV, which I always assumed I would get — primarily because it can act like an additional speaker (through the sound system, which is awesome), queue up and play about any movie we want with just a voice command, also control so much of what else is going on in the house (including the tv_soundsystem_gaming console, etc) while sitting from the couch.
I would have preferred Apple be my shiny, glass-backed knight on a white (or space-grey) horse, rushing in as my savior on the smart-home front, and who knows that they won’t be 10 years from now, but for the moment, I have done the one thing that I thought I would not be doing ever again — allowing a lot of non-Apple computers into my home and sharing a LOT with them about me.
#smarthome #home_automation #apple #famouslastwords #ihopebigbrotherisnotwatching
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