In the race for IoT communicability, one major player has already fallen far behind…
The two giants – Apple and Google – are leading the field in device communication platforms, but fundamental differences in their approach makes one the clear choice. Google’s Works with Nest already boasts over 95 connected products – including light-bulbs, thermostat controls, baby monitors, etc. On the other hand, HomeKit – Apple’s proprietary software and hardware smart-home platform – currently has only 7 connected products.
Why the large gap? Developers find designing integration with Google’s ‘Works with Nest’ to be a far more streamlined process. Google’s developer documentation is readily available online, with a robust support team. Products like the Nest Home Simulator allow designers to create and test software without having to buy physical Nest products. They can create scenarios – such as flooding or a fire – in the virtual world to test product reaction and consumers can check out Nest product’s, prior to purchase. And, importantly, Google is heavily cloud-based, not relying on the local WiFi network.
Apple’s Homekit requires an application process before the developer documentation can be reviewed. They also require an authentication chip be installed into existing hardware, and developers may only work with their approved manufacturers. As one developer put it, “it’s like, in a world with email, they’re asking us to use a fax machine.”
All in all, Google appears to be doing everything possible to make Works with Nest relatively easy and enjoyable to us. Apple appears to be doing the exact opposite.