While many are not quite sure what to make of Apple’s HomePod, or even exactly where it’s supposed to fit into the ecosystem, I personally count myself among the biggest fans of the smart speaker. Despite having several Alexa-capable speakers and even a Google Home, it’s the HomePod that continues to win out as my preferred smart speaker while the others have been relegated to sitting unplugged in my basement, coming into use only for testing and comparison purposes.
Some small part of this is having a higher confidence that Apple cares about protecting my privacy, and is therefore more likely to avoid gaffes like recording and e-mailing out my private conversations, but ultimately for me it comes down to the fact that HomePod — despite its many limitations — still works best with all of my other Apple products and services, such as Apple Music, HomeKit, and other AirPlay 2 devices.
Of course, HomePod is far from perfect, and in some ways Apple’s initial release of the smart speaker felt a lot like the company’s first attempt at the Apple Watch — a device that the company wasn’t quite sure what to do with, or exactly who it was for. Apple positioned HomePod more on the sound quality of the speaker, which was impressive but not necessarily groundbreaking, and treated most of the voice assistant features as secondary to that. This has left HomePod in a somewhat odd place against other smart speakers, leaving it with a very small market share even despite increasing sales. While there have been suggestions that Apple may release a more entry-level “HomePod Mini” at some point in the future, there are definitely things that the company can do with the HomePod in iOS 13 that could help to bring the “smart” capabilities more into the mainstream. Continue reading to learn 7 Things We Need to See in Apple’s Next HomePod Update.