Apple HomeKit can already control lights, locks, and a host of other devices around your smart home, but until now it didn’t have much to contribute to your home’s audio system.
This will change with the addition of AirPlay 2, the next generation of Apple’s music streaming technology. Announced at WWDC 2017, AirPlay 2 brings multi-room functionality to HomeKit, allowing you to synchronise playback across multiple speakers around your home.
You’ll also be able to use Siri to control music playback, echoing similar functionality added by Google to its Google Home speaker which allows you to ‘Cast’ to various speakers around your home.
Thankfully, this functionality will not just be limited to Apple’s own Music app as third-party apps will also be supported.
Interestingly, AirPlay 2 will also allow friends to contribute to your playlists, which we’ll be interested to try out in a party situation.
Apple’s existing Apple TV will support AirPlay 2, but Apple also showed a number of other brands that have committed to supporting the new standard. These brands included Bang and Olufsen, Naim, Bose, Beats (obviously), Denon and Libratone.