Apple’s HomePod will feel a lot like Apple Watch when it comes to software updates because you’ll use an app on your iPhone to make them happen. For Apple Watch it’s the Watch app, and for HomePod it’s the Home app—the same app you use to manage your smarthome devices.
Guilherme Rambo dug into Apple’s iOS code for 9to5Mac and found the HomePod software update mechanism. Along with alerting you to new software updates, the Home app will also let you enable automatic software updates, much like Apple TV.
On one hand, it’s interesting that Apple is using its home automation app to manage a smart speaker that’s promoted as primarily a music playback device. On the other hand, Apple has a history of Frankenstein-ing functions into apps, like iTunes, for example.
Using the Home app to manage HomePod may be a hint that Apple plans to make the device more useful as a stationary Siri interface. Or, it may just be the app Apple decided was the best fit for managing the speaker updates.
HomePod is a smart speaker with Siri voice control support. It has seven tweeters, a woofer, and six far-field microphones packed into its canister body. Along with music streaming, the speaker supports some Siri commands for accessing things like tasks and messages, weather and news reports, and controlling HomeKit devices.
Apple’s HomePod is available for pre-order now for US$349. It will be in stores on Friday, February 9th.