Apple's next Mac monitor could double as a smart display

By day it's your Mac monitor. But during downtime it's a smart home display

Apple Studio Display
(Image credit: Apple)

Good news for Apple smart home fans: it looks like Apple is bringing smart home integration to its next generation of Mac monitors. And we might have seen the interface already.

According to a new report, Apple is working on a version of its stand-alone display with a built-in iOS chip, much like the Apple A13 that’s in the Apple Studio Display. That would enable it to run a stripped-back iOS in standby or low power mode, providing access to smart home widgets and information.

If that sounds awfully like the StandBy display we know iOS 17 is bringing to the iPhone… it does, doesn’t it? Apple may well be hiding its next smart home interface in plain sight.

This isn’t the only smart home display that Apple has been developing. Multiple reports say that it’s also been working on a tablet-sized smart display that’s designed to work as a smart home hub. 

What new smart home kit is Apple building?

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, who revealed the existence of the monitor with smart home features, you shouldn’t expect that particular device until 2023 “at the earliest”. 

However, previous reports have suggested that Apple’s HomePod-based smart display could be launched in 2024. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who has an enviable record in breaking Apple product news, Apple may unveil “a redesigned HomePod featuring a 7-inch panel” with “tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products, marking a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy”. 

I hope so. I’m a big fan of smart home technology, and I’ve been all-in on Apple hardware for decades. But as much as I’m excited about the possibility, the reality is still rather lacking – so for example having Home widgets on my iPhone control centre is handy, but not being able to control them is less so; Siri is great, but Siri often takes three or four attempts to command… you get the idea. 

It feels very much like the smart home tech around me is waiting for a great leap forward so that, as the cliche goes, it just works. If it’s true that Apple is starting to take smart home technology much more seriously, I can’t wait to see the results.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (