HomePod Firmware Reveals Further Details on Apple's Smart Speaker

Yesterday, Apple pushed out firmware for its $349 HomePod smart speaker ahead of the device's launch in December, and developer Steve Troughton-Smith has been sharing some interesting tidbits online that he managed to unearth in the code.

Bearing the name "AudioAccessory1,1", the firmware reveals that the HomePod runs a full iOS stack – essentially like an iPhone without a screen – and relies on a shell app called "SoundBoard" to integrate with the device's hardware.

homepod apps


Troughton-Smith said that HomePod apps are prefixed with "Air" in the firmware, but that there currently appears to be no provision for third-party apps or extensions in the OS shell.

In addition to revealing that the device will include Accessibility features like VoiceOver, Troughton-Smith also found references to an LED matrix, possibly relating to the area on the top of the speaker that with the right density could display shapes and/or symbols.

Plus and minus symbols and a Siri button are known to be on the top of the device, so the existence of an LED matrix could potentially present additional information to the user, such as icons or a graphic equalizer.


Oddly enough, the developer also found that the HomePod is identified as an iPhone SE in the iTunes Store.

Apple is sure to make further changes to the software that runs the audio speaker before it ships in December, so we'll likely have to wait until then for the full lowdown on its functionality. In the meantime, you can learn more about the device by checking out the MacRumors HomePod roundup.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

X--X Avatar
46 months ago

I'm still confused by the HomePod.

Apple doesn't have clear strategies with products anymore.

Everything that Cook releases is vague, just like Apple Watch where they completely changed the interface, the marketing and targeting multiple times and they will do the same with HomePod. They're not thought out products.

It's more like, let's realease it and see what happens.

----

PLUS it feels like they are already behind, right from the start. Everybody is going to screens to display additional information. Just a music speaker that only works with Apple Music and with no real display for 349 plus taxes, I don't see it being a big hit.

We'll see.
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nitropowered Avatar
46 months ago
You haters can hate, I'm getting one when its released
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
46 months ago

Apple doesn't have clear strategies with products anymore.

Everything that Cook releases is vague, just like Apple Watch where they completely changed the interface, the marketing and targeting multiple times and they will do the same with HomePod. They're not thought out products.

It's more like, let's realease it and see what happens.

----

PLUS it feels like they are already behind, right from the start. Everybody is going to screens to display additional information. Just a music speaker that only works with Apple Music and with no real display, I don't see it being a big hit.

So you say everything Cook releases is vague? You mean like the iPad that's been highly successful with the recent launch back in June, the Apple Watch that's been highly successful, not to mention the best selling smart phone in the world with the iPhone, the AirPods that have been back ordered since last December and have had stellar reviews. Sounds like those vague products are doing very well to me.

Also, does that, shock you that Apple has not released their product first before others? It shouldn't. It Shouldn't be about being the first on the market, it should be about releasing the better product. They always are the last, but they always seem to put out the products that have more unique features. That's what makes Apple products stand out.

The HomePod may not be the first smart speaker/Bluetooth home audio system on the market, but it certainly is going to bring quality sound and will sell out.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
X--X Avatar
46 months ago

So you say everything Cook releases is vague? You mean like the iPad that's been highly successful

It's a Steve Jobs product which has seen almost no improvements in 10 years. the only difference in terms of software (which means actual use) in 10 years is now we have sort of a baby drag and drop. That's it.

And it is not "highly successful" either, sales have gone down for iPad every year. Because they didn't continue to innovate on it with Cook as CEO, as they should have.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Relentless Power Avatar
46 months ago

HomePod is not a better speaker that other products, and not a btter home assistant thatn other products. It's not better at anything, not when it comes to technolgy and not when it comes to usabailty.

So how much credibility is your post supposed to have based on the fact that you have no experience with the Home Pod? Let alone we don't even know its full potential based on "Usability." Question, have you personally tested the HomePod to make that assessment?
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
46 months ago

Apple doesn't have clear strategies with products anymore.

Everything that Cook releases is vague, just like Apple Watch where they completely changed the interface, the marketing and targeting multiple times and they will do the same with HomePod. They're not thought out products.

It's more like, let's realease it and see what happens.

----

PLUS it feels like they are already behind, right from the start. Everybody is going to screens to display additional information. Just a music speaker that only works with Apple Music and with no real display for 349 plus taxes, I don't see it being a big hit.

We'll see.

You mean like how just a few months ago, Apple was being criticised for being behind in AR, only to see that narrative completely turned on its head being ARkit being made available on hundreds of millions of iOS devices in a few months time?

This is a clear case of Apple's long term product strategy hiding in plain sight. By the time Apple had revealed all the cards in their hand, it will have been all over for the competition.

I don't dare to claim that I know everything that Apple is up to, but I can say one thing - Apple always has a plan, and one underestimates Apple to their own detriment.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 Rumored to Feature Blood Glucose Monitoring

Monday January 25, 2021 5:05 am PST by
The Apple Watch Series 7 will reportedly feature blood glucose monitoring via an optical sensor, according to ETNews. The report, which mainly focuses on the blood glucose capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, explains that Apple is intending to bring blood glucose monitoring to the upcoming Apple Watch Series 7 using a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels,...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 With New Camera Warnings and Bug Fixes

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:04 am PST by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.4, the fourth major updates to the iOS 14 operating system that was initially released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.4 come more than a month after the release of iOS and iPadOS 14.3, updates that brought new emojis, Intercom support, and more. The iOS and iPadOS 14.4 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible...
7

Apple Releases watchOS 7.3 With Unity Watch Face, Expanded ECG Availability and More

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today released watchOS 7.3, the third major update to the watchOS 7 operating system that was released in September. watchOS 7.3 comes more than a month after watchOS 7.2, an update that brought support for Apple Fitness+ ‌‌The watchOS 7.3 update‌‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install...
14

Apple Releases tvOS 14.4 for Fourth and Fifth-Generation Apple TV Models

Tuesday January 26, 2021 10:02 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 14.4, the fifth update to the tvOS 14 operating system that was initially released back in September. tvOS 14.4 comes more than a month after the release of tvOS 14.3. tvOS 14.4, which is a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌Apple TV‌ by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ owners who have...
14

Apple Releasing iOS 14.4 and watchOS 7.3 Later Today

Tuesday January 26, 2021 7:20 am PST by
In its Black History Month announcement this morning, Apple has confirmed that iOS 14.4 and watchOS 7.3 will be released later today. watchOS 7.3 expands the ECG app on the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer to Japan, Mayotte, Thailand, and the Philippines, while iOS 14.4 introduces a notification on iPhone 12 models with non-genuine cameras. Both software updates also add support for a new...
AirPods Pro Gen 2 Feature2

Second-Generation AirPods Pro Widely Rumored to Launch in First Half of 2021

Tuesday January 26, 2021 8:24 am PST by
Apple plans to release second-generation AirPods Pro within the first half of 2021, according to unnamed industry sources cited by Taiwanese publication DigiTimes in a report focused on flash memory supplier Winbond. From the report:Winbond is also expected to be among the NOR flash suppliers for Apple's next-generation AirPods Pro slated for launch later in the first half of this year, the...
apple watch black unity

Apple Celebrates Black History Month With Limited-Edition Watch, Featured Apps and Books, and More

Tuesday January 26, 2021 6:14 am PST by
Apple today announced that it will be celebrating Black History Month with curated content that highlights and amplifies Black creators, artists, developers, and businesses across the App Store, Apple Music, the Apple TV app, Apple Books, Apple Podcasts, and more. The content will be featured throughout the month of February. Black Unity Sport Band has "Truth. Power. Solidarity." ...
magsafecasedangle

Apple Elaborates on Potential for iPhone 12 and MagSafe Accessories to Interfere With Implantable Medical Devices

Saturday January 23, 2021 2:42 pm PST by
Since the launch of iPhone 12 models in October, Apple has acknowledged that the devices may cause electromagnetic interference with medical devices like pacemakers and defibrillators, but the company has now shared additional information. Apple added the following paragraph to a related support document today:Medical devices such as implanted pacemakers and defibrillators might contain...
14

iOS 14.4 Patches Vulnerabilities That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Tuesday January 26, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4, and along with a handful of minor new features, the software introduces security fixes for three vulnerabilities that may have been used in the wild. According to a security support document shared by Apple, there were kernel and WebKit vulnerabilities affecting all iPhones and iPads running iOS or iPadOS 14. The kernel vulnerability could allow ...
matte black macbook pro colorware

Apple Researching High-End Titanium MacBook Casings With Unique Textured Finish

Tuesday January 26, 2021 7:10 am PST by
Apple is researching the use of processed titanium with unique properties for future MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones, according to a newly-granted patent application. In a filing titled "Titanium parts having a blasted surface texture," granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and spotted by Patently Apple, Apple explains how various devices could adopt titanium casings with a...