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Apple drops doorbell category from its HomeKit accessories page

18/07/2018

The Apple HomeKit smart home ecosystem can incorporate a wide selection of smart devices, from light switches to outlets, climate control to smart speakers. 

But one device HomeKit can’t work with, apparently, is a smart doorbell. 

On Apple’s HomeKit accessories page, you can find a list of supported devices under categories such as Lights or Locks. Doorbells, which had previously been listed as a category, no longer appears, 9to5Mac first discovered. 

Ring and August, two smart security companies that make smart doorbells, promised back in 2016 that they would add HomeKit support to their devices. Now, two years later, neither has delivered on this promise. 

Ring, which was acquired by Amazon earlier this year, reaffirmed that it would still incorporate HomeKit support in the future—despite being owned by a smart home competitor. 

Still, after such a long wait, some buyers are wondering what could be causing the holdup, and Ring hasn’t explained why HomeKit support has taken so long to implement. 

While Ring may yet fulfill its overdue promise, August allegedly has no plans to do so. CNET reports that August emailed a customer back in March to say that it “do[es] not have plans to have HomeKit for our doorbell cameras. If anything does change in the future, we will announce it on our website.”

August, which seemingly has no business justification to cancel support for HomeKit, may have run into some kind of technical delays. But it, like Ring, hasn’t explained itself either. 

Apple doorbell ditches on 2016 promises

At WWDC 2016, Apple showed off a promo for smart doorbell tech integrated with HomeKit features and iOS. But now, the prospect seems more and more unlikely.

A 2016 WWDC promo for the IOS 10 “Home” app promised a smart doorbell that would record and track visitors, notify you of their presence, and allow you to talk with them | Credit: Apple

By removing its Doorbell category, Apple ensures its customers don’t assume that smart doorbells are available right now, and could very well re-add the category once Ring or someone else adds support. 

On the other hand, Apple kept the category up for years when none were available; perhaps this is a sign that the company doesn’t think Ring or any other doorbell-maker will support its platform any time soon. 

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