Apple’s HomeKit turns the iPhone into a remote for your smart home (@verge)

HomeKit will allow iPhone users to control individual smart home devices right from their phone, and it sounds as though it’ll all happen through Siri, rather than a specific app. Homeowners will be able to put their smart home devices into groups too, so that they’ll also be able to control a series of items at once — perhaps an entire room’s worth of appliances or an entire floor’s lighting.

I don’t know how psyched I am about everything running through Siri. Actually, I’m not psyched at all about it, to tell you the truth. Siri continues to be way too finicky to be useful on an every day basis for me. Too often I get the “I’m really sorry about this” nonsense with even simple commands. Now I’m going to have to rely on it to get my doors locked and to close my garage door at night? I’d much rather just control everything through simple on-off switches in a central app. I think most people probably feel the same way. I know a few other connected home solutions are going with a gesture approach. Maybe that has more utility than voice commands. if we’re talking about ways to minimize pulling out a phone, a specific app etc.

When Start-Ups Don’t Lock the Doors (@nytimes)

And in many ways, mobile apps and services — which have been taking off most rapidly lately — face security challenges different from those of technology built for their desktop predecessors. The information at risk on mobile devices is often more personal than on desktop devices, because mobile devices now include things like digital wallet apps, location-tracking recommendation services, and photo-messaging apps.

No, Google’s Sundar Pichai Didn’t Say Android’s Openness Makes It Less Insecure (@techcrunch)

From TechCrunch’s Alex Wilhelm:

A local site quoted Pichai as indicating that Google’s Android operating system was, to quote one reblog of the comments, “not designed to be safe, it was designed to be open.” Naturally, something of that nature caused a stir. Google admitting that Android is inherently insecure due to its core tenet of openness?

Unsurprisingly, that’s not what Pichai actually said. In fact, he made the opposite point, arguing that Android’s openness actually makes it more secure, not less.

An English-transcript from Google follows.

Of course that doesn’t mean Android’s fragmentation doesn’t present issues, particularly with OEMs who ship some new phones with previous versions of the OS. Sounds like the desktop world, doesn’t it?

And finally, Pichai discussed why Android might be a larger target for abuse. Studies have indicated that something akin to 99.8 percent of mobile malware targets Android. This matters as Android now occupies in a great many ways the old market position that Windows held onto for decades, that of being the defacto platform in terms of unit volume.

Apple Says It Is Unaware of NSA’s iPhone Backdoor (@allthingsd)

Here’s Apple’s statement:

Apple has never worked with the NSA to create a backdoor in any of our products, including iPhone. Additionally, we have been unaware of this alleged NSA program targeting our products. We care deeply about our customers’ privacy and security. Our team is continuously working to make our products even more secure, and we make it easy for customers to keep their software up to date with the latest advancements. Whenever we hear about attempts to undermine Apple’s industry-leading security, we thoroughly investigate and take appropriate steps to protect our customers. We will continue to use our resources to stay ahead of malicious hackers and defend our customers from security attacks, regardless of who’s behind them.