Developers from Philips are already hard at work developing for iOS 8 and decided to provide us with a concept prototype for accessing your Philips Hue lighting system from iPhone. The image shows a Hue widget on the ‘Today’ screen in Notification Center. For now, there are only four light scenes. Presumably, Philips could allow more that would either get stacked or in a best case, would be accessible by scrolling. For those with a Philips Hue lights, you are all to familiar with how lights get controlled under iOS 7. It requires unlocking your iOS device, opening the app and selecting your scene. If you have a busy home screen, hunting for the app adds time, which isn’t great when you are only trying to change a scene or turn off your lights.
This is still a concept. A beta in beta, but paints a picture of some awesome utilities coming in iOS 8. It would be great if users were given even more control. For example, the Logitech Harmony Ultimate provides Philips Hue customers with options to dim individual or all lights. That would be a useful feature. Developers have a few challenges with widgets. While the added functionality is fantastic, they have to be careful not to overcrowd the notification center.
As Apple looks to make a push into Smart Home technology, with the iPhone in control, the widget functionality is a perfect example of how to improve access. Turning on lights, changing stations are all very common with smarthome technology. By improving access, Apple’s improving control of lighting, music and more. Next to Sonos, the Philips Hue widget was my most requested widget. What iOS 8 widgets do you want to see this fall?
One of the drawbacks of the Hue system is the need for a smartphone. Sure, it’s great to turn lights on from anywhere in your house, but it can be a hassle to locate the app and make changes. This new widget, when available, should solve some of those problems. The new widgets should be fantastic for anyone who uses their iPhone or iPad to control their smarthome.