Apple Is Rethinking the HomePod, Adding a Screen and Camera for FaceTime Calls

After discontinuing the HomePod in March, Apple is now working on a new HomePod product with a screen, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman.

HomePod FaceTime 3D Blue
Render of a HomePod with a built-in camera and a large display.

In a recent report, Gurman mentioned that Apple has "been developing new speakers with screens and cameras."

This suggests that Apple could be at least exploring the idea of releasing new ‌HomePod‌ models with a display and camera to compete with equivalent products such as Google's Nest Hub Max, Amazon's Echo Show, and Facebook's Portal, but Gurman cautions that "a launch isn't imminent," so there is no guarantee that Apple will release such a product.

Google's Nest Hub Max, for example, is equipped with a 10-inch touchscreen that can also be controlled by voice with Google Assistant. The Nest Hub Max allows users to view daily info like the weather and calendar appointments, stream video from Netflix and other sources with built-in Chromecast, play music through the stereo speaker system, make video calls using the built-in 6.5-megapixel camera, control smart home accessories, and more.

google nest hub maxThe Google Nest Hub Max

The Nest Hub Max also functions as a "smart digital picture frame" for photo albums, and it can display a live video feed from Nest cameras and video doorbells, making it suitable for a kitchen countertop or bedside table.

Apple's potential camera-equipped ‌HomePod‌ would presumably offer similar functionality like FaceTime video calling and HomeKit integration if it ever comes to market. This appears to be supported by the discovery of Apple recently adding the FaceTime and iMessage frameworks, as well as AVFCapture for capturing images, to the underlying software that runs on the ‌HomePod‌. These frameworks could have been added to accommodate a future ‌‌HomePod‌‌ that has a screen and a camera, as Gurman describes.

In March, Apple announced that it is discontinuing the full-size HomePod and shifting its focus to the HomePod mini. The company is also believed to have scrapped its plans for an updated ‌HomePod‌ model that was originally slated to launch in 2022.

Gurman said that Apple still lacks a "unifying strategy" for the smart home market, with some people within the company apparently blaming the lack of progress on Siri's shortcomings compared to Google Assistant and Alexa. This may have prompted the company to consider a completely new direction for the ‌HomePod‌.

Whether new ‌HomePod‌ models with screens and cameras will come to fruition remains to be seen, but it seems likely that Apple is not yet ruling out a totally new ‌HomePod‌ product.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iphone 15 pro wifi 6e

Internal Apple Document From Leaker 'Unknownz21' Confirms Wi-Fi 6E Will Be Limited to iPhone 15 Pro Models

Friday January 27, 2023 10:01 am PST by
Multiple rumors have suggested that the next-generation iPhone 15 models will adopt the Wi-Fi 6E standard that Apple has already introduced in the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, and now a leaked document appears to confirm Apple's plans. Sourced from researcher and Apple leaker Unknownz21 (@URedditor), the document features diagrams of the iPhone 15's antenna architecture. D8x refers to the...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...
Mac Pro 2019 Apple

Mac Pro Enthusiasts Raise Concerns Over Upgrade Limitations of Apple Silicon

Thursday January 26, 2023 6:30 am PST by
The new Mac Pro coming later this year is expected to feature the same spacious modular design as the 2019 model, but with fresh concerns over its lack of upgradeability surfacing, some users are beginning to wonder what the transition away from Intel architecture actually means for Apple's most powerful Mac. The current Intel Mac Pro that Apple sells is popular with creative professionals...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Rumored to Have These 8 Features

Friday January 27, 2023 2:11 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least eight exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the eight features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...