Apple’s HomePod operating system is now based on tvOS

Apple’s HomePod arrived in stores on February 9, 2018 in the US, UK and Australia. In the spring of 2018, HomePod launched in Canada, France, and Germany. Mexico and Spain followed that fall and China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan got HomePod in 2019.

Together with Apple Music and Siri, HomePod creates an entirely new way for users to discover and interact with music at home. And it can also assist with everyday tasks — and control a smart home — all via voice.

Apple HomePod. Stereo pairs create an even wider soundstage for an incredible listening experience on HomePod.
Stereo pairs create an even wider soundstage for an incredible listening experience on HomePod.

An Apple-designed A8 chip controls all the remarkable audio innovations inside HomePod. Until a few week ago, prior to the release of iOS 13.4, HomePod ran an operating system based on iOS.

Filipe Espósito for 9to5Mac:

9to5Mac has analyzed the latest HomePod firmware available and found something unexpected: starting with version 13.4, the HomePod operating system is now based on tvOS, instead of iOS…

iOS 14 is likely to drop support for devices with the A8 chip (basically the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 4), and the first and only generation of the HomePod runs with an A8 chip. While the fourth generation Apple TV (the HD-only model) also runs with the A8 chip, it will probably not be discontinued this year. If Apple wants to keep the HomePod updated for a longer time, it makes sense that the HomePod Software should be based on the next version of tvOS instead of iOS 14 due to the A8 chip support…

Sure, these changes are quite intriguing, but why would Apple bother changing all that right now? The answer might be in the launch of new products, as Bloomberg reported today that Apple is working on a “HomePod mini.”

MacDailyNews Take: Hopefully, HomePod will work much better with Apple TV going forward. Right now, about all HomePod can do out of the box is turn on our TVs. We’d like to be able to do a whole lot more than that.

11 Comments

  1. I use HomePod all the time to pause AppleTV when I get up for a second and it ends up being longer. HomePod works great for me with Hue bulbs and Wemo oulets! Can’t wait for more models.

  2. It activates w/o being invoked.
    It can’t seem to find the correct song.
    It can’t consistently hear commands in small empty rooms.

    I don’t want to keep paying to beta test for Apple. This device would have been so much better if they just made it a high quality Airplay 2 speaker instead of a bat shit crazy half-assed ‘smart’ speaker.

    I’m buying my next speaker from an actual speaker company.

    1. If you are looking for new speakers from an actual speaker company, I suggest PureAudioProject Classic 15s….

      No Siri, no Alexa, certainly no Google – just exceptional sound.

          1. No Moron, someone recommending a product 5x size and 2x+ price, as if a reasonable similarity, is just illogical and a waste of space and time. You’ve heard of the apples and oranges illustration, huh?

            I know, it’s hard for some to get…that’s why some in the world are rightfully called morons, Mr. Sick.

    2. I don’t have it that bad. Siri will occasionally pick up on something and answer.

      The weird problem I am experiencing is that I can have a HomePod, an Apple Watch, iMac and and iPad in the same room. If I say “Hey Sirr” it is seems random which one will answer. This is particularly annoying in the car when I am using Carplay to have a hands free calling but also have my iPad on the passenger seat. If I try to make a call by saying “Hey, Siri” the iPad will sometimes answer. Then I can’t the car speakers to hear the call.

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