HomePod May Support Multiple User Accounts and HomeKit Scenes That Mute Siri

Several new icons unearthed in the latest build of iOS 11.2.5 and shared on Twitter appear to reveal additional functionality included in Apple's upcoming HomePod smart speaker. On Sunday, Filipe Espósito found an image hidden amongst Apple's Home app assets that includes icons which suggest it will be possible to create custom scenes that mute the HomePod speaker's "Hey, Siri" function.

homepod icons
As Espósito notes, the function could be useful in a house party scenario, for example, where the owner might want to control other smart devices like lights and motion sensors while disabling Siri responses for privacy reasons.

Apple has not yet mentioned if HomePod can support more than one user, but Espósito believes there are references that indicate the speaker will distinguish between different voices to service multiple accounts. He also notes that existing assets show support for combining two HomePods for stereo sound, or using two or more HomePods to simultaneously stream music using Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless streaming protocol.

homepodwhiteApple originally announced the HomePod back in June 2017 at the Worldwide Developers Conference, where it demoed the speaker's advanced spatial awareness which intelligently adjusts to the surroundings to deliver the best possible sound. The company initially planned to release the Siri-based speaker in December 2017, but in a subsequent statement said it was pushing back launch to a more non-specific "early 2018" timeframe.

Rumors suggest HomePod supplier Inventec has started shipping the HomePod to Apple, whose historical definition of "early" is January through April, so it's still not entirely clear when it will launch. Supplies of the HomePod could also potentially be limited at launch, based on information shared from Inventec, and Apple has said the $349 speaker will initially only ship in the U.S., the U.K., and Australia.

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

Top Rated Comments

riverfreak Avatar
39 months ago

Multiple users via voice recognition is already part of Google Home. Privacy protections if it doesn't recognise your voice as well. It's nice that Apple has these features ready from day one, but this doesn't sound like something special.

While I agree with you on Apple being extremely late to the party and coming in hot at a high price point, they do have at least one other thing going for them: a business model that isn’t centered on advertising.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Porco Avatar
39 months ago
Lol, some of those icons...

I am happy that Apple will apparently cater for situations such as ‘wet and windy balloon time’, ‘tiny man in the garden hour’, and ‘fried egg with popcorn day’.

These are surely the hieroglyphics of the present, destined to be uncovered and debated by historians of the future as to their meaning...

‘So when the wifi symbol is blue it means ‘on’... when it’s grey... it means... ‘off’?’
-‘There appears to be conflicting evidence on that actually!’
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
39 months ago

I get how this is great for homes without HiFi, but what about those of us who don't need Apple's "premium" speaker system? I want a Siri "Dot"...as I'm sure many others do too....
[doublepost=1516612927][/doublepost]ETA, When the heck will Logitech Harmony support homekit!?!

putting on my "jony ive" thinking cap:

if your apple watch is more than capable of doing what an Echo Dot or a "Siri Dot" could do (because of the fact that it's always with you, it has a button to activate, and it has a touchscreen), why would you want to use a smart home speaker to use Siri?

your apple watch however doesn't play music outloud. so that's where Apple figured it can contribute. let a speaker do exactly what it should do and be really good at it: playing audio. making a Siri dot compromises on its number 1 task, so it has no reason to be.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OllyW Avatar
39 months ago

putting on my "jony ive" thinking cap:

if your apple watch is more than capable of doing what an Echo Dot or a "Siri Dot" could do (because of the fact that it's always with you, it has a button to activate, and it has a touchscreen), why would you want to use a smart home speaker to use Siri?

your apple watch however doesn't play music outloud. so that's where Apple figured it can contribute. let a speaker do exactly what it should do and be really good at it: playing audio. making a Siri dot compromises on its number 1 task, so it has no reason to be.

That's an answer to a question he didn't ask. :p

He's already got a decent hi-fi system and wants to add the Siri functionality from the HomePod to it, Echo Dot style. Your Apple Watch isn't much good (even if it was somehow connected to your hi-fi) if other family members want to use it while you are away from home.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
pancakedrawer Avatar
39 months ago

putting on my "jony ive" thinking cap:

if your apple watch is more than capable of doing what an Echo Dot or a "Siri Dot" could do (because of the fact that it's always with you, it has a button to activate, and it has a touchscreen), why would you want to use a smart home speaker to use Siri?

your apple watch however doesn't play music outloud. so that's where Apple figured it can contribute. let a speaker do exactly what it should do and be really good at it: playing audio. making a Siri dot compromises on its number 1 task, so it has no reason to be.

I have a pair of studio monitors at home that sound far better than the Apple HomePod. I don't need to listen to it to know that. Physics doesn't allow a speaker that big to have a proper range. The problem is they don't have a smart assistant like Siri or bluetooth connectivity. I think the point 'farewelwilliams' was making is that a dot allows people to decouple the smart assistant from the speaker giving you the best of both worlds.

I like the idea of a HomePod but for that kind of money you can buy yourself some really nice bookshelf speakers and an Amazon Dot and end up with far superior sound. For those of us in the Apple ecosystem it would be nice to have a more integrated product but I'm not willing to sacrifice sound quality for it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jsameds Avatar
39 months ago
I'm apprehensive about this product, purely because Siri is still such a mess. I have a feeling it will be great hardware let down by sloppy software.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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