I love Apple products don’t get me wrong.
I sat there last night patiently waiting for the download of the latest version of iOS, iOS 10 no less and apparently it’s really great.
As I waited I pondered what I’d check out first: the new animations in Messages, the newly redesigned Apple Music app, helpful widgets on the lock screen, new smart Photos app, even having the ability to finally delete that annoying Stocks app and also connect my Belkin WEMO products to the new HomeKit app.
Everything was going well until my final test: I launched the handsome new HomeKit app, hit Add Accessory and waited to see all my WEMO lightbulbs drop in… Nothing. Nada. I killed the app, tried again, nowt.
I checked the HomeKit page on Apple.com and nowhere amongst the myriad of home connected products was a WEMO device to be seen. How come? Belkin’s WEMO products have been around for a time, it integrates with most other services and systems including IFTTT and Amazon's Echo, so why no HomeKit integration?
So I did a quick Google search and found this article. Key line being: "All of this means that no current WEMO device will ever be able to work with HomeKit unless Apple changes its rules."
Nice one guys, this is supposed to be the connected world, the Internet of Things (not all Things are born equal apparently)
It’s annoying, don’t get me wrong, it’s not the end of the world and in this post-Brexit era there are plenty more far bigger non-Internet things to worry about but it illustrates a point about Apple and their love of tyrannical control.
With a partner, TheTin has developed a product called Zapsta, it's very cool, it’s a powerless NFC tag that you stick to your bike helmet or snowboard and should you have an accident first responders can scan it (if you have any other smartphone in the world other than an iPhone) or type a short URL (if you have an iPhone) to access a wealth of medical data that could be life-saving in the moment.
You can’t scan it on an iPhone because Apple has locked down their NFC reader to anything other than their ApplePay service. NFC is used for any number of different services across Android and WindowsPhone models, it’s cool, it’s smart, it's useful, in our product it could be life-saving. But Apple say no, no, no, stating security threats to their payment system as the reason behind this walled garden view. And yet it’s fine for everybody else.
Even this once fanboy is tiring of the restrictions and control imposed by Apple, it’s not a new thing but in this ever open, better-connected tech world we live in it feels very much against the tide.
Perhaps it’s time to jump to the good ship Samsung. I just hope it doesn't blow up!