Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gains HomeKit Support Through Software Update

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Belkin's Wemo Mini smart plug has gained HomeKit support through a software update, as reported today by CNET. This means that owners of Wemo Mini plugs can simply open the Wemo iOS app, update the device's software, and immediately gain the ability to add the plug into the Home app, add it into existing scenes, and use Siri to control it without the need for a Wemo Bridge.


Apple first announced that it would update its HomeKit specification during WWDC 2017, so that compatible smart products no longer have to include a hardware authentication chip. For products like the Wemo Mini, this means that authentication goes through software instead and greatly streamlines how developers integrate with HomeKit.

Although announced at last year's WWDC, the change eventually launched in iOS 11.3 in March 2018, and the Wemo Mini is now the first HomeKit product to connect to Apple's platform using the software protocol, a Wemo spokesperson said.
The team at Wemo also tells us that the Mini is the first HomeKit device to connect with the platform using Apple's software protocol instead of the MFi chipset that was initially required at HomeKit's launch. "No other non-chipped product has the ability to do the HomeKit authentication via a software update as of yet," a company spokesperson tells CNET.

In that sense, the ability to connect with HomeKit via software instead of hardware represents a fairly significant step forward for the platform, and one that could make it easier for other existing devices to jump on board. That'd be a win for Apple, which has thus far struggled to keep up with Amazon and Google in terms of the quantity of devices that work with its smart home platform. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.
The $34.99 Wemo Mini is a smart plug that lets users add smart home control to normal products, like a bedside fan, lamp, coffee pot, and more. Smart plugs are a popular HomeKit accessory given their compatibility with a wide range of devices and cheap price tag. Other companies that make HomeKit smart plugs include iHome, iDevices, Koogeek, and Elgato.

Belkin initially introduced HomeKit support for its Wemo products with the Wemo Bridge, and although the Wemo Mini will no longer require a Wemo Bridge for HomeKit compatibility, other Wemo products will still need the Bridge to connect to Apple's platform. The team is working on updating other products similar to Wemo Mini, and says the Wemo Dimmer accessory is next on the roadmap for a HomeKit software update later this year.

For the Wemo Mini, users will see the HomeKit software update beginning today, and a rollout to all customers is expected to be finished as soon as next week.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Article Link: Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gains HomeKit Support Through Software Update
 

rjtyork

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2009
182
286
Awesome! Chamberlain, I’m looking at you now. I REALLY don’t want to spend $100 on a hub if it’s not necessary. I really like being able to open and close my garage with an app, but it would be so much better to be able to tell Siri to do it
 
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technole

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2017
309
351
That's awesome, Belkin/WeMo will continue to be my brand of choice. I was actually thinking about buying the hub when they announced it, but this is great they are the first to get on-board with software.

Now if Apple didn't screw up HomeKit implementation in the first place, they would have been far ahead of the other two.
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,454
7,083
Silicon Valley, CA
These switches seem a bit pricy compared to the competition. Any good reason for that?
Probably build quality and testing. There are a few things I am completely comfortable paying a premium on, and devices that primarily deliver lots of electrical power is WAY near the top of the list. It helps that I've experienced a house fire from going cheap on some knock-offs in the past, and learned my lesson. Now I limit my "off brand" purchases to things like spare USB and HDMI cables.

Now, what are the chances that iRobot will update their stuff? :eek:
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,244
1,312
Awesome! Chamberlain, I’m looking at you now. I REALLY don’t want to spend $100 on a hub if it’s not necessary. I really like being able to open and close my garage with an app, but it would be so much better to be able to tell Siri to do it
I thought I read somewhere (but I can't find it now) that Apple would NOT let devices that control doors/locks work with just software authentication... those kind of devices need Apple's special authentication/encryption chip.
 

HyruleBorn

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2017
9
3
Los Angeles, CA
These WeMo mini plugs rarely work and set-up is such a hair-pulling struggle because of the buggy app. Every time I press the "Update" button in the WeMo app to update the firmware, it just takes me to the previous page; it's almost like the button doesn't do anything.
 

TheRealTVGuy

macrumors 6502a
Jul 21, 2010
643
903
Orlando, FL
Awesome! Chamberlain, I’m looking at you now. I REALLY don’t want to spend $100 on a hub if it’s not necessary. I really like being able to open and close my garage with an app, but it would be so much better to be able to tell Siri to do it
I bought their HomeKit bridge they day it came out. It’s been awesome! I just raise my wrist and tell Siri what to do. It’s also allowed me to open/close the door when not on-site, and check it when I’m away from home.
 

tehfunk

macrumors newbie
Jun 19, 2009
10
3
These WeMo mini plugs rarely work and set-up is such a hair-pulling struggle because of the buggy app. Every time I press the "Update" button in the WeMo app to update the firmware, it just takes me to the previous page; it's almost like the button doesn't do anything.
I think it's because the firmware isn't available yet. They updated the app, but the firmware is to be rolled out in the near future. At least that's my interpretation of the update notes:

"Download the app release and keep an eye out for an important firmware update..."

So I'm guessing that's coming at some point in the future. But I do agree, their app isn't the best.
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
Probably build quality and testing. There are a few things I am completely comfortable paying a premium on, and devices that primarily deliver lots of electrical power is WAY near the top of the list. It helps that I've experienced a house fire from going cheap on some knock-offs in the past, and learned my lesson. Now I limit my "off brand" purchases to things like spare USB and HDMI cables.

Now, what are the chances that iRobot will update their stuff? :eek:
I haven't found any cheap knockoffs in the HomeKit space. Everything seems to be more expensive in fact.
 

picaman

macrumors regular
Oct 6, 2005
140
312
These switches seem a bit pricy compared to the competition. Any good reason for that?
I have some and they work flawlessly. So I’m guessing quality. I’d rather have something name brand running expensive electrics.

Also they are one of the few (only?) plug options that run all three (Alexa, Google, Apple).
 

IJ Reilly

macrumors P6
Jul 16, 2002
17,915
1,466
Palookaville
I was wondering the same thing. Just dove into the smart plug pool a couple months ago with some from iHome and I'm very happy so far. They were $25 at Best Buy.
I bought a couple of these for under $30. The outlets are on the side and the front features a night light.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,566
14,057
Central U.S.
This is great news! Fairly reasonable price too compared to the competition. I think I'll pick up a few of these!

Hopefully this is just the first of many to come. Still not sure why Ring can't get their act together, but now that Amazon bought them I doubt they'll fulfill their promise. If only Apple had purchased Nest and Ring. Sigh…
 

technole

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2017
309
351
Probably build quality and testing. There are a few things I am completely comfortable paying a premium on, and devices that primarily deliver lots of electrical power is WAY near the top of the list. It helps that I've experienced a house fire from going cheap on some knock-offs in the past, and learned my lesson. Now I limit my "off brand" purchases to things like spare USB and HDMI cables.
I always trust Belkin/Wemo products, they are one of Apple's better partners and their app quality is the best of all the ones I used. Plus Wemo integrates with Nest, so all the plugs can be sync'd when the thermostat is set to away. Great way to ensure lights are off/on.

I thought I read somewhere (but I can't find it now) that Apple would NOT let devices that control doors/locks work with just software authentication... those kind of devices need Apple's special authentication/encryption chip.
Considering Chamberlain myQ can integrate with Alexa (via a free unofficial skill) for free. That stance is pretty lousy. Look at Kwikset locks and Amazon Key for that matter. The latter uses the Amazon Cam for the hub.
 

Skeptical.me

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2017
453
388
Australia



Belkin's Wemo Mini smart plug has gained HomeKit support through a software update, as reported today by CNET. This means that owners of Wemo Mini plugs can simply open the Wemo iOS app, update the device's software, and immediately gain the ability to add the plug into the Home app, add it into existing scenes, and use Siri to control it without the need for a Wemo Bridge.


Apple first announced that it would update its HomeKit specification during WWDC 2017, so that compatible smart products no longer have to include a hardware authentication chip. For products like the Wemo Mini, this means that authentication goes through software instead and greatly streamlines how developers integrate with HomeKit.

Although announced at last year's WWDC, the change eventually launched in iOS 11.3 in March 2018, and the Wemo Mini is now the first HomeKit product to connect to Apple's platform using the software protocol, a Wemo spokesperson said.
The $34.99 Wemo Mini is a smart plug that lets users add smart home control to normal products, like a bedside fan, lamp, coffee pot, and more. Smart plugs are a popular HomeKit accessory given their compatibility with a wide range of devices and cheap price tag. Other companies that make HomeKit smart plugs include iHome, iDevices, Koogeek, and Elgato.

Belkin initially introduced HomeKit support for its Wemo products with the Wemo Bridge, and although the Wemo Mini will no longer require a Wemo Bridge for HomeKit compatibility, other Wemo products will still need the Bridge to connect to Apple's platform. The team is working on updating other products similar to Wemo Mini, and says the Wemo Dimmer accessory is next on the roadmap for a HomeKit software update later this year.

For the Wemo Mini, users will see the HomeKit software update beginning today, and a rollout to all customers is expected to be finished as soon as next week.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Belkin. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Article Link: Wemo Mini Smart Plug Gains HomeKit Support Through Software Update
I'm still annoyed they didn't just give the WEMO lights and WEMO Switch and WEMO motion sensor some type of firmware upgrade. I have to import some type of bridge for them to work with Homekit grrr