Apple’s HomePod speaker requires an iOS device to work

“If you were hoping to use the HomePod as a regular Bluetooth speaker, forget about that,” Steve Dent reports for Engadget. “While it has the necessary hardware for Bluetooth streaming, currently it only supports third-party services through Apple’s proprietary AirPlay protocol.”

“As was expected, that pretty much eliminates Android and other devices as sources, even if you’re running Apple Music, making the HomePod a product strictly for Apple device owners,” Dent reports. “Furthermore, just to set it up, you’ll need an iOS 11-capable Apple device, as The Verge notes.”

“For third-party apps like Spotify, you won’t be able to play songs via Siri voice commands, it seems,” Dent reports. “Once it’s installed, however, guests with iOS 8 and up and OS X Yosemite and later will be able to connect via peer-to-peer AirPlay.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, there are about a billion more Apple device users today than there were when iPod launched as a Mac-only music accessory.

Apple’s HomePod can be used as as a Wi-Fi speaker for Spotify, Google Play Music, Amazon Music, etc., thanks to AirPlay.

As always, Android settlers won’t know what they’re missing in terms of ecosystem integration and ease-of-use. When and if Apple opens HomePod more to Apple Music subscribers on Android (Google’s Play Store app has between 10 million and 50 million Apple Music downloads and more than 200,000 reviews), it’ll be icing on the cake. Apple could certainly have plans for HomePods to fill in other price points (like iPod mini, iPod nano and iPhone shuffle did) in the future, too.

Obviously, Apple is behind on HomePod. We don’t even have multi-room or stereo capabilities, yet! We expect Apple has plans for HomePod features and devices that have not yet been revealed.

HomePod Audio Sources (via Apple Inc.):

• Apple Music
• iTunes Music Purchases
• iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription
• Beats 1 Live Radio
• Podcasts
• AirPlay other content to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, and Mac

HomePod System Requirements (via Apple Inc.):

• iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) running iOS 11.2.5 or later
• 802.11 Wi-Fi Internet access
• Apple Music subscription for full music functionality

Apple reveals all of HomePod’s supported audio sources – February 1, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018
Apple’s iOS 11.3 beta delivers AirPlay 2 with multi-room playback – January 25, 2018
How Apple is positioning the HomePod and why – January 24, 2018
How I got talked into buying an Apple HomePod despite my reservations – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook says audio quality puts HomePod ahead of ‘squeaky-sounding’ competition – January 24, 2018
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 2018
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017


            1. not Apple. Airplay 2 might solve one of the reasons Bose pulled support. Bose chose to go with bluetooth now. I assume because bluetooth has gotten a lot better but still not as feature rich as Airplay as I understand it. This decision by Bose to drop Airplay may have its roots in Bose suing Beats which Apple then bought and dropping Airplay is in part a retaliation. Bose could support Airplay if it wanted to. They chose not to. That’s on Bose. It’s a dumb move by them, Bose is shooting itself in the face by taking Airplay away form its products.

            2. someone else can build that product for analog to Airplay. There probably isn’t a market though. Why would a company build a product hardly anyone wants? I suppose we could ask Microsoft.

    1. Your Victrola would have played cylinders or 16 RPM records, not 78s. I know, I have a few of those 16 RPMs (“Coming through the Rye” by Sir Harry Lauder is my favorite).

      The fact that it does not work with HomePod does suck. All those scratch pings and pops and the track hiss would be even more evident through a HomePod. Guess I’ll have to stick with my B&O system.

  1. Imagine if you had to buy a TV for each network you wanted to watch- that is the mindset of Apple. Short term it may give them an advantage, but most people want stuff to just work- and that means not being locked in to Apple’s rental music, the iPhone and whatever.

    There is no good reason the device has to be chained to an iOS device, they just decided to make it that way.

    To quote the Big Cheeto: Sad!

      1. NO. Apple needs to get its act together and offer for sale systems that are full function.

        This kind of thing worked back when the iPhone was first announced for many reasons — not the least of which was that the iPhone was, for all practical purposes, the first of its kind.

        The HomePod is by far not the first of its kind. Other systems that have been on the market work with multiple vendors’ devices. Apple has absolutely no excuse to not do similarly.

        New Apple Mantra: Ship late. Ship in limited quantities. Ship with missing features. Making money is the only goal.

  2. First off, I bought one of these. Pick it up Feb 9th. But I sure hope I can see third party apps like Pandora and TuneIn Radio soon. And would like AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth streaming soon too. Sonos One looks pretty good but I’m buying HomePod on “hope”. —-Don’t let me down, Apple !!!

  3. I’m just curious why Apple can’t add Airplay support to the AppleMusic app for Android. I’m not personally asking for it, but it seems like it would make sense to market HomePod to as many users as possible. I’m guessing the AirPlay support must be in the iOS libraries, and Apple doesn’t feel like porting that code for the small number of Android users who might buy a HomePod.

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