Everything Apple has promised to add to HomePod in future updates

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple's HomePod will be shipping soon -- but beyond the features initially promised but not immediately arriving, there look to be a few more things coming to the HomePod in the future. AppleInsider gives you a full rundown of what to expect from HomePod in the weeks and months after it launches.




AppleInsider spoke at some length on Tuesday about how the stereo linking and multiple-room audio features were missing from the HomePod at launch. We've reached out to Apple through several vectors, and received no response as of yet as to why the features are absent.

What Apple's promised for AirPlay 2 -- when it becomes available
What Apple's promised for AirPlay 2 -- when it becomes available


We were able to listen to the HomePod during the 2017 WWDC, and was able to listen to a pair of HomePods paired for stereo -- so we know the feature works at some level. At the time, we couldn't test for multiple room support, so we're not sure where that feature stands at the moment.

AirPlay 2 is coming later, despite being able to be tested by developers in beta releases of iOS 11.2.5. Apple says that AirPlay 2 is coming to the HomePod later this year, and presumably, multiple-room support will be added at the same time, in a similar fashion to how macOS handles multiple outputs in iTunes.

How multiple outputs works in macOS
How multiple outputs works in macOS


We don't know precisely how stereo linking works. It is unknown if multiple HomePods will recognize proximity and tailor audio accordingly, or if a setting needs to be manually selected. Time will tell.

Above and beyond all this, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has alluded to more coming in the future for the device.

Straight from the source

Right after the debut of the HomePod at the 2017 WWDC, Cook fielded questions about the day's releases. Leading the discussion was the HomePod.

"What we've tried to do is build something that is breakthrough speaker first," said Cook, responding to a question about why people should buy the $349 HomePod over Amazon's cheaper Echo. "Music is deep in our DNA dating back to iTunes and iPod. Number one, we wanted something that sounded unbelievable."

At the core of the HomePod is Apple's Siri integration with Apple Music. At launch, the device has a subset of Siri, according to Apple. However, it does appear that limiting the device to only music and some other features will change.

"One of the advantages that we have is that there are a lot of things that Siri knows to do from the cloud," he added. "We'll start with a patch of those as (marketing chief) Phil (Schiller) showed you today during the keynote, and then you can bet that there's a nice follow-on activity as well."

At launch, Siri in the HomePod will send a message, set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic and weather, and control what Apple calls "a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories." Absent is responding to knowledge-based queries -- at least to start.

Discerning multiple users by voice?

Firmware delves by developers seem to indicate that Siri may be capable of identifying users by voice.

In the same examination that showed muted HomePod microphones the day before Apple announced the release date for the product, Filipe Esposito said that he believes strings in the code allow a HomePod to recognize multiple voices, and provide custom responses tailored to those individuals.

This may be a misinterpretation of code found in iOS 11.2.5 and the beta firmware for the HomePod, though. Apple hasn't officially said a word about this.

Adding features over time isn't new

We're already waiting for full support of a big feature in multiple Apple products. When they debuted, macOS High Sierra promised external GPU support which isn't arriving in full until the spring. When we were first told about it, iOS 11 had Apple Pay Cash and AirPlay 2 support discussed -- the former is now available, and the latter could be activated by developers in the last iOS 11.2.5 beta prior to Tuesday's public launch.

There's been a lot of internet drama about Apple releasing products unfinished, and adding features over time. But, this is nothing new, as Apple already adds new features to old hardware with new versions of macOS and iOS.

What's new is Apple telling us about these features before they get added to a product.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    The Loop cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    edited January 2018 Rayz2016boltsfan17macplusplusNotsofast
  • Reply 2 of 71
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,835member
    The Loops cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    Thanks, good info.  I hope this explains to people saying it's mono that it isn't.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    I'm not paying 349 for something that has amazing sound and only does what Alexa does, the "better" sound isn't worth it.... let me know when you have sonos like features working.   I have way to many portable speakers to have one plugin that I could have bought in 1999.  Just like the MacBook Pro, Siri is going to be dumbed down.  I wonder if it will even work with apple home kit.  Huge Pass
    williamlondonbrucemc
  • Reply 4 of 71
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 159member, editor
    The Loops cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    Thanks for sharing this.
  • Reply 5 of 71
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    The Loops cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    Bloody hell 

    😱



  • Reply 6 of 71
    Apple's first real foray into "high quality audio" is a MONO speaker? That after promising stereo. Now, Apple says it will be available maybe in 11 months. Of course, Apple said in June 2017 the HomePod would sell with stereo in time for the 2017 Christmas buying season. A MONO speaker. That is the new Apple "thinking different". Who needs stereo? People used to Apple TV and its functionality should love a mono audio solution for their Apple TV viewing.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 7 of 71
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    rynoyes said:
    I'm not paying 349 for something that has amazing sound and only does what Alexa does, the "better" sound isn't worth it.... let me know when you have sonos like features working.   I have way to many portable speakers to have one plugin that I could have bought in 1999.  Just like the MacBook Pro, Siri is going to be dumbed down.  I wonder if it will even work with apple home kit.  Huge Pass
    I have way too many portable speakers…
    williamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 71
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    The Loops cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    ‘Scuse me for asking, but how did you come across this? Are you a regular at that site?
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 9 of 71
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member

    MacPro said:
    The Loops cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    Thanks, good info.  I hope this explains to people saying it's mono that it isn't.
    You’ve been here a while. Do you really think that’s going to happen?

    lolliverbeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 10 of 71
    rynoyes said:
    I'm not paying 349 for something that has amazing sound and only does what Alexa does, the "better" sound isn't worth it.... let me know when you have sonos like features working.   I have way to many portable speakers to have one plugin that I could have bought in 1999.  Just like the MacBook Pro, Siri is going to be dumbed down.  I wonder if it will even work with apple home kit.  Huge Pass
    Which wireless speakers do you have from 1999 that sound as good and do as much as the HP? Be specific. 

    I’ll be specific: 5 years ago i bought iHome’s iW1 for $300 because it was an AirPlay wireless speaker. It sounds like shit and doesn’t have any “smart” controls or features. 
    edited January 2018 williamlondonroundaboutnowmike1jony0lolliver
  • Reply 11 of 71

    Apple's first real foray into "high quality audio" is a MONO speaker? That after promising stereo. Now, Apple says it will be available maybe in 11 months. Of course, Apple said in June 2017 the HomePod would sell with stereo in time for the 2017 Christmas buying season. A MONO speaker. That is the new Apple "thinking different". Who needs stereo? People used to Apple TV and its functionality should love a mono audio solution for their Apple TV viewing.
    It’s not a mono speaker. From The Loop link:

    "Direct sound is beamed to the middle of the room, while ambient sound is diffused into left and right channels and bounced off the wall."
    edited January 2018 williamlondonlolliver
  • Reply 12 of 71
    Rayz2016 said:
    The Loops cites an interesting article on the HP’s purported quality. Intriguing if true:

    http://www.loopinsight.com/2018/01/24/on-homepod-and-audio-quality/
    ‘Scuse me for asking, but how did you come across this? Are you a regular at that site?
    Yep, it’s on my rotation of morning reads. 
  • Reply 13 of 71
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 190member
    Apple should take a page out of Google's playbook and slap BETA on everything, then update it later once they figure out what they want it to do. Remember when Apple would only release fully-baked products? Now they're telling us what said products are going to do, at some later date? Really? 
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 14 of 71
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,589member
    Discerning user by voice is important. We have a family Apple Music account and I have been wondering whose Apple Music account will be affected. I don't know how the HP will be set up but I imagine it will be linked to a specific Apple Music account. That is fine as long as I am the only user but in my house there are 4 of us and I really (I mean REALLY) do not want my Apple Music account to become 'polluted' by music from other family members. I am certain that they want their accounts 'polluted' by my choices even less. I was thinking I'd have to set up a separate Apple ID and that may still be the best course of action. Anyone have any ideas how this will work?
    rare comment
  • Reply 15 of 71
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,518member
    paxman said:
    Discerning user by voice is important. We have a family Apple Music account and I have been wondering whose Apple Music account will be affected. I don't know how the HP will be set up but I imagine it will be linked to a specific Apple Music account. That is fine as long as I am the only user but in my house there are 4 of us and I really (I mean REALLY) do not want my Apple Music account to become 'polluted' by music from other family members. I am certain that they want their accounts 'polluted' by my choices even less. I was thinking I'd have to set up a separate Apple ID and that may still be the best course of action. Anyone have any ideas how this will work?
    Not yet, but it’s a good question. 
    rare comment
  • Reply 16 of 71
    I’m all for releasing something when it’s ready. HomePod is clearly not. They delay it for over a month and finally announce its shipping but with missing key features. Perhaps Apple should do some serious evaluation and not announce something they can’t deliver for over a year. They’re blowing it..
  • Reply 17 of 71
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,847member
    Adding features over time isn't new”

    It is not adding stereo feature. It was promised to be available last December. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 18 of 71
    vadimyuryevvadimyuryev Posts: 159member, editor
    Apple's first real foray into "high quality audio" is a MONO speaker? That after promising stereo. Now, Apple says it will be available maybe in 11 months. Of course, Apple said in June 2017 the HomePod would sell with stereo in time for the 2017 Christmas buying season. A MONO speaker. That is the new Apple "thinking different". Who needs stereo? People used to Apple TV and its functionality should love a mono audio solution for their Apple TV viewing.
    It has 7 tweeters, and can easily do stereo with one HomePod, just watch this video for an explanation. 


    StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 19 of 71
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,699member
    Apple's first real foray into "high quality audio" is a MONO speaker? That after promising stereo. Now, Apple says it will be available maybe in 11 months. Of course, Apple said in June 2017 the HomePod would sell with stereo in time for the 2017 Christmas buying season. A MONO speaker. That is the new Apple "thinking different". Who needs stereo? People used to Apple TV and its functionality should love a mono audio solution for their Apple TV viewing.
    It has 7 tweeters, and can easily do stereo with one HomePod, just watch this video for an explanation. 


    Odd that Apple wouldn't mention that it does stereo then. Why do you think they don't? 
  • Reply 20 of 71
    rynoyes said:
    I'm not paying 349 for something that has amazing sound and only does what Alexa does, the "better" sound isn't worth it.... let me know when you have sonos like features working.   I have way to many portable speakers to have one plugin that I could have bought in 1999.  Just like the MacBook Pro, Siri is going to be dumbed down.  I wonder if it will even work with apple home kit.  Huge Pass

    Apple's first real foray into "high quality audio" is a MONO speaker? That after promising stereo. Now, Apple says it will be available maybe in 11 months. Of course, Apple said in June 2017 the HomePod would sell with stereo in time for the 2017 Christmas buying season. A MONO speaker. That is the new Apple "thinking different". Who needs stereo? People used to Apple TV and its functionality should love a mono audio solution for their Apple TV viewing.

    I believe these are mono, if stereo capable...

    https://www.apple.com/shop/product/HJS02LL/A/devialet-phantom-wireless-speaker

    https://modernsounds.com/collections/devialet/products/phantom

    edited January 2018
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