Apple announced this week that it's joining the smart-home revolution by creating a platform, called HomeKit, that will eventually allow people use their iPhone to control their house — everything from the locks and lights to the thermostat and refrigerator.

By getting developers to build on HomeKit, Apple wants to turn the iPhone and iPad into hubs for how smart products talk to each other in the home.

Although Google hasn't announced plans for a similar network, we know it's eyeing home automation too. It recently acquired smart thermostat and fire alarm company Nest for $3.2 billion — not to mention it reportedly seeking a possible acquisition of startup Dropcam, which makes Wi-Fi-connected cameras that can record and share footage in the cloud.

Google clearly has big plans for the smart home industry too. But with two major tech companies interested, it opens up questions around compatibility, convenience and the overall vision around home automation.

While Apple wants third-party providers and manufacturers to join HomeKit, consumers will have to make a choice if they want to be an Apple-centric home. If a family has kids with Samsung Galaxy phones but parents with iPhones, will that create a split smart-home experience? Will Google and Apple be able to play nicely together?

Story By Samantha Murphy Kelly

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