5 ways Apple is about to make HomePod even better
To own HomePod is to love it, I think, and I’m resolute that it is the best smart speaker system money can buy – and Apple will once again make these systems betterthis fall, its product page confirms. Here’s what to expect:
5 ways Apple is about to make HomePod better
The highlights of these improvements include radio Stations, multi-user mode, music hand-off, and ambient sounds on demand (nice). It is important to note that while some of these features are promised September 30, others remain destined for introduction in ‘Fall’, so we may need to wait a little longer for some of them…
Apple has done the right thing and as of September 30 you’ll be able to listen to your choice of up to 100,000 radio stations just by requesting them on Siri. You’ll also be able to stream audio from more sources with AirPlay, including Spotify.
HomePod can learn up to six different voices
HomePod can learn and recognize up to six different voices and create a personalized listening experience for each one of them.
This means that when people play music with your system they don’t mess up your music loving preferences.
In practise, this means when they say “Hey Siri, play some music” they’ll get a mix of songs customized to their own unique listening history and personal preferences.
This voice support also means household and family members will be able to access their own messages, reminders, lists, and calendars, and make and receive phone calls.
The feature will only be available “in English” at first.
Listening to a song on your iPhone and want it to play on your HomePod? Just hold your device next to the smart speaker and the track will switch to using the device as output.
Apple explains it thus:
“Whether you’re halfway through a phone call or listening to a song or podcast on your iPhone, you can easily hand it off to HomePod. Just hold your iOS or iPadOS device next to HomePod and whatever you’re listening to will continue to play seamlessly on HomePod.”
Apple hasn’t told us too much about this feature, but a note on the HomePod site tells us: “Relax with Ambient Sounds – featuring the soothing sounds of ocean waves, forest birds, rainstorms, and more.” This will be excellent for relaxation, and probably useful if you go out and want to leave some company for your cat or your dog.
One more thing…
I can’t help but think we’ll see those iPhone 11 UWB talents fire up some interesting usage cases in these things.