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The Bulletin

Apple's next push into your home

Posting in Technology

Proving that Apple wants to be a part of every aspect of your life, the tech giant unveiled health and connected-home products for the software powering the iPhone and iPad.

Apple officially announced HomeKit, which turns your iPhone into a remote control, and HealthKit, which combines data from health apps and fitness devices, at its Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday. Apple also released iOS, its new mobile software, and an updated version of its Mac operating system called Yosemite.

HomeKit is designed to connect all the accessories to better manage your home, according to Apple. The framework has a common protocol, secure pairing and gives users the ability to control individual or groups of devices throughout the house. It's also integrated with Siri.

As Apple explains it, you can tell Siri you're going to bed and it will dim the lights, lock the doors, close the garage door and set the thermostat.

Apple has already signed on a number of HomeKit partners including Philips, Haier, Honeywell and Cree. For instance, HomeKit will allow the Philips Hue lighting product, which was released in 2012, to pair devices throughout the house and control them using Siri, according to Philips Lighting CEO Eric Rondolat. The Wi-Fi-enabled LED lighting system lets users create and control the brightness--and even the color--of the bulbs using any smartphone or tablet.

Meanwhile, the new health app is designed to act as a clearinghouse, of sorts, for the information from all of your health apps and fitness tracking devices. Basically, all of those fitness trackers and health apps can now communicate with each other.

With your permission, each app can use specific information from other apps to provide a more comprehensive way to manage health and fitness. For example, the Nike+ apps using NikeFuel will be able to pull in other key HealthKit metrics such as sleep and nutrition to build a custom user profile and improve athletic performance, Apple says.

The developer conference follows Apple's announcement last week that it will acquire Beats, the headphone maker and music streaming service, for $3 billion.

Apple will pay $2.6 billion in cash and about $400 million in stock for Beats. As part of the deal, Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre will join Apple, and the iPad and iPhone maker will take on subscription streaming music service Beats Music and Beats Electronics, maker of headphones, software and speakers.

— By on June 3, 2014, 3:10 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure