Apple rumored to announce iPhone smart-home remote

Will your iPhone replace your clickers? Several sources point to Apple revealing smart-home features for iOS 8 at WWDC.

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Smart-home technology may be on the agenda at next week's WWDC. James Martin/CNET

What will Apple announce during next week's WWDC? Needless to say, the rumor mill is spinning fast and furious, with lots of expectations for new iPhones and the very likely introduction of iOS 8.

Now, with just days to go before the conference, at least one detail is starting to gain traction: Apple will add smart-home features to the next version of its mobile operating system.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal picked up a Financial Times report indicating a "big splash in the world of smart-home technology." Specifically, the report said your iPhone will be able to automate everything from opening the garage door to turning on the lights when you get home.

Such capabilities could be among the fruits of a patent Apple received last year, one focused on smart-home system settings referred to as "scenes."

Further evidence arrived in my inbox this morning, with a public relations rep for a universal-remote app letting slip this statement: "Next week Apple will be announcing its iPhone Smart Home remote which will be available sometime in the future."

Although that may have been mere speculation, it's certainly phrased as fact. App developers are often clued into Apple's plans long before they're released to the public.

Of course, even if the company does hop into this growing market, CNET's Rich Brown suggests that Apple won't necessarily dominate it.

What are your thoughts? Would you like to see smart-home capabilities baked into your phone? Or would you rather Apple focus more on the hardware itself, with features like bigger screens and near-field communication? Share your preferences in the comments!

Tune into CNET's WWDC live show and blog at 9 a.m. PT on June 2.

 

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