The HomePod mini could be Apple's secret weapon for expanding HomeKit

HomeKit isn’t a new part of Apple’s software setup — the company has offered the smart home platform since 2014, and there’s a broad list of products that work with it today (even if it’s not quite as popular among device manufacturers as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant).

Not only that, it also makes using those HomeKit features more accessible by adding an always-on microphone that can respond to smart home requests, for a third of the price of Apple’s previous option.

If you’re already an Apple user, HomeKit accessories integrate into iOS on a native level , allowing you to access your lights or air conditioning directly from the iPhone’s Control Center menu, similar to turning on and off your Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

There’s also the security aspect: Apple is extremely rigorous when it comes to giving its HomeKit seal of approval, even after it removed the requirement for a physical hardware authenticator .

The company was found to have problems with human contractors that were listening to Siri recordings just last year (alongside Google , Amazon , Facebook , and Microsoft ).

But Apple has since rectified those issues by instituting new, more secure policies and changing Siri’s default behavior so that it will only save recordings unless a user specifically opts in.

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