8: Should we be sad Apple’s HomeKit chief is gone?
Head of Home Services, Sam Jadallah, has left Apple, but don't let your gut reaction scare you
“Engineer Sam Jadallah announced this week that he’s leaving Apple after working at the company for less than three years. At Apple, Jadallah was the Head of Home Services, which includes the HomeKit system for home automation.”
And from Jadallah’s own announcement:
“That’s a wrap with Apple. I’m so grateful for the friendships that will endure and the opportunity to shape and create new capabilities for people and homes around the world. As a corporate exec, investor and entrepreneur, it was a treat to be an entrepreneur within Apple and to create products at scale.”
It’s unknown exactly why Jadallah left Apple, but I get the impression that it is simply that he doesn’t want the job. Overseeing a large division inside a company like Apple has to be a very difficult job, and very different than running a smart lock startup, where Jadallah came from. While Apple is a giant collection of talented individuals, I would not fear for the future of HomeKit based on this departure. Given Apple’s other recent scandals like working from home and equal pay, I think there would be more smoke and rumors from disgruntled employees leaving the Home Services team if there was really a problem going on. But let’s keep an eye out for those in the coming months.
Thanks to Aqara for sponsoring this week’s issue of Apple Home Weekly. Aqara just launched their new G3 camera with 2K image quality, wider viewing angle, and a motorized stand.
I’ve been using a G3 for a couple of weeks and I’m very impressed. Get one for yourself while it’s still discounted:
Jadallah joined Apple in February of 2019. At WWDC 2019, Apple announced HomeKit Router and HomeKit Secure Video. Since then they also unveiled adaptive lighting, personal automations, and Siri APIs for third-party accessories. These are some great software enhancements to HomeKit and Shortcuts, but this area inside Apple is far too important. Someone else hungry for a great opportunity to take this job is sure to come along if they haven’t already.
It’s easy to point to Jadallah’s departure being a sad thing and a bad sign for the future of HomeKit. Apple made great strides in software, they are getting ready to lay the foundation for even more hardware and software advancements soon, as the two homeOS leaks in job listings point at.
Here are my picks for some smart home gadgets that make great gifts this time of year.
And yes, that sling is there because I dislocated my shoulder on Sunday morning. I’m feeling a lot better almost a week later, but I know this recovery will be slow. More appointments next week should give me a better idea of how long.
Around the web:
Black Friday Deals
I made a curated list of Black Friday deals. Depending on when you are reading this, some of the deals are still available. Check out my Twitter thread with all the links.
This is one of those scare-tactic-journalism pieces that your relatives might share when they see you over the holidays (hypothetically). It’s a good reminder to not be swindled by super low prices and to only use brands you trust. Any brand I talk about on my YouTube channel, I trust in my home. This is also one of the advantages of using Apple’s HomeKit. It’s a lot less lenient on security than other smart home platforms.
A word of caution on Abode
I still trust Abode home security, but I’ve been getting an increasing number of technical problems with their hardware in my home. If you are thinking of getting their system this holiday season you might want to reconsider. I am looking at my options and will recommend something else for security next year. Right now I think that will be Ring, integrated with HomeKit via Homebridge or HOOBS.