Apple TV has long seemed like a natural fit as a hub for Apple's smart home ambitions, even before those ambitions were codified in HomeKit. Today, we finally have a good look at exactly how that's going to work in practice.

AppleInsider details how the latest Apple TV Software beta, released earlier today, officially includes HomeKit support, enabling your Apple TV to act as the unifying force behind your world of iOS-friendly connected devices. As an iOS developer explained the process to AppleInsider:

Logging into iCloud on an Apple TV will register the set-top box as a potential remote access peer for the HomeKit application programming interface.

Once the user accepts using their Apple TV as a remote access peer, information from their connected home will automatically be synced with the TV accessory. This is made possible because HomeKit uses CloudKit to store home and accessory info in the cloud, while Keychain is used to store paired keys, the developer said.

While that won't get you too far with current Apple TV hardware, it's not hard to imagine a world in which you it becomes a command center for your home, assuming you stock up on Apple's eventual third-party connected hardware partners. Possibly even one that's powered by Siri.

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What's most exciting? That's just one direction Apple TV can grow. It's still ripe to be opened up to a full universe of apps, including games that take advantage of Apple's Metal graphics engine. And Continuity could someday let you transfer a movie from your iPad to your big screen with a simple tap. We could be just one hardware refresh away from that simple black puck becoming a true powerhouse.

In a world where iPads seem perfectly adequate and iPhones improve incrementally, the Apple TV continues to be Apple's most exciting—and in some ways, most important—product. And these little lines of code are inching it closer than ever to that living room-consuming endgame. [Apple Insider]

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