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Apple Revamping Smart Home Efforts After Falling Behind Amazon, Google

The iPhone maker’s effort in smart-home devices trails rivals. A new team wants to change that. 

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker.

Apple’s HomePod smart speaker.

Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. is ramping up hiring for a team that is working on new smart-home software and devices in an effort to catch up in a field where Google and Amazon.com Inc. have dominated, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company is seeking engineers to work in its Cupertino, California, headquarters and in San Diego as part of a group revamping Apple’s smart-home platform. The overhaul is designed to spur more outside accessory and appliance makers to connect smart-home products such as lights and garage doors with the iPhone and Apple’s voice-activated digital assistant, Siri. The team also is exploring the possibility of building new home devices beyond the HomePod speaker.