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.


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

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42 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)
Avatar
42 months ago
You haters can hate, I'm getting one when its released
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
42 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)
Avatar
42 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)
Avatar
42 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)
Avatar
42 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)

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