Apple Aims to Boost HomePod Sales With New Audio Software Lead

Apple has hired a new software lead for the HomePod team as part of an effort to better compete with smart home speakers from Amazon and Google, reports Bloomberg.

syng cell alpha table feature

The Syng Cell Alpha

Afrooz Family, an audio engineer who worked at Apple from 2012 to 2016, has rejoined the company and is leading software development on the ‌HomePod‌/Apple TV team. Family co-founded speaker company Syng alongside former Apple design team member Christoper Stringer. Syng is known for the super expensive Cell Alpha, which boasts "triphonic" audio technology that's able to create an immersive, dynamic sound field.

Apple has struggled to get the ‌HomePod‌ to catch on since its launch in 2018. The initial version of the speaker was priced at $350 and boasted higher-quality audio than competitors, but it was just not as popular as much more affordable smart speaker options from Samsung and Google.

The original ‌HomePod‌ was discontinued earlier this year with Apple instead opting to focus on the $99 HomePod mini, which is smaller and much more appealing due to its lower price tag.

Going forward, Apple plans to create a combined ‌HomePod‌, ‌Apple TV‌, and FaceTime device that will serve as an all-in-one entertainment option. According to Bloomberg, such a device could be released as early as 2023.

Related Roundup: HomePod mini
Buyer's Guide: HomePod Mini (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

yadmonkey Avatar
8 months ago
I love my HomePod. It would have sold better if people cared about sound quality and not being data-raped by competing products.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will Co Avatar
8 months ago
The original HomePod and the Mini would do much better if Siri was more useful. It’s embarrassing how bad Siri can be sometimes. But parsing aside, make her more useful and crucially, more open.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
urbanslaughter1997 Avatar
8 months ago
When will Apple realize? It's not about improving sound quality. It's about improving Siri!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PinkyMacGodess Avatar
8 months ago
Seems a little late for this, don't it?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yadmonkey Avatar
8 months ago

I'm sorry but I disagree, my echo's have way better sound from them than my homepod mini ever has.
I said HomePod, not Mini. Also covered the Echo under the "data-rape" part of my post.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PinkyMacGodess Avatar
8 months ago

I'm sorry but I disagree, my echo's have way better sound from them than my homepod mini ever has.
But that's the mini. The original, the behemoth, the price leader, the sound was/IS... AMAZING!!! But Apple probably realized that they had over-designed the thing, and couldn't get it to work cordless, and just dropped it. It's sad... The first music I heard on the larger HomePod brought tears to my eyes. So amazing...
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

HomePodandMini feature orange

Apple Releases HomePod Software 15.2 With Apple Music Voice Plan Support

Monday December 13, 2021 10:08 am PST by
Alongside iOS 15.2, Apple today released a new 15.2 software update for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The HomePod 15.2 software adds support for the $4.99 per month Apple Music Voice Plan, a Siri-based option for listening to Apple Music on HomePod and other devices.Software version 15.2 includes support for Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription tier designed to access music using...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod 15.4 Beta Adds Dutch Siri Voice Recognition Support

Wednesday February 23, 2022 3:38 am PST by
Apple has added Dutch language voice recognition support for Siri in the latest HomePod 15.4 beta, further preparing the HomePod mini for release in the Netherlands in the near future. The addition of voice recognition, spotted by iCulture, means HomePod or HomePod mini will be able to identify who is talking to it in a Dutch-speaking multi-person household so they can make personal requests ...
homepod feature triad

Apple No Longer Planning to Launch New HomePod in 2022

Monday March 29, 2021 2:15 am PDT by
Apple was planning to launch an updated HomePod in 2022, prior to discontinuing the original HomePod, according to reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. The original HomePod was announced in 2017, representing Apple's first foray into the competitive smart speaker market. The HomePod was never replaced with an updated model, despite the HomePod mini launching with new ultra-wideband...
HomePodandMini feature orange

Apple Remains 'Largely Absent' in U.S. Smart Speaker Market

Wednesday August 4, 2021 7:04 am PDT by
Apple remains "largely absent" in the U.S. smart speaker market while Amazon and Google continue to dominate, according to data gathered by Consumer Research Intelligence Partners (CIRP). Since 2017, Amazon has been the dominant company in the smart speaker market, with over two-thirds of smart speakers in U.S. homes being Amazon devices. Google holds about a one-quarter share of smart...
HomePodandMini feature orange

HomePod 15 Beta Software Adds Lossless Audio Support

Monday July 12, 2021 11:18 am PDT by
Apple today released a new beta version of the HomePod 15 software, and it appears that the update introduces Lossless Audio support for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. Back in June, Apple added higher-quality Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio support to Apple Music, but at launch, Lossless Audio was not available on the HomePod or the HomePod mini. Apple in a support document clarified...
homepod mini colors

HomePod Mini Launches in Belgium, Netherlands, and Switzerland

Friday March 25, 2022 2:45 am PDT by
Apple today started taking orders for the HomePod mini in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland for the first time, as spotted by iCulture. Apple said earlier this month that it would make the HomePod mini available to order in the above countries by the end of March, but never gave a specific release date. The speaker also gained support for languages spoken in those countries as part...
homepod mini thumb feature

HomePod Mini Helps Apple Nearly Double Its Market Share of Smart Speakers and Screens

Monday December 20, 2021 9:00 am PST by
Amazon continues to lead the market for smart speakers and smart screens with devices like the Echo Dot and Echo Show, but Apple has nearly doubled its market share in this segment thanks to the HomePod mini, according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics estimates that Apple shipped 4 million smart speakers in the third quarter of 2021, taking a 10.2% share of the...
homepod feature purple

Apple Releases HomePod Software 15.4

Monday March 14, 2022 9:41 am PDT by
Alongside iOS 15.4, iPadOS 15.4, and tvOS 15.4, Apple today released a new 15.4 update that's available for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The 15.4 update is the fourth major HomePod software update since version 15 was released, and it comes more than a month after the launch of HomePod software 15.3. The HomePod 15.4 software update brings support for captive WiFi networks, so that...

Popular Stories

Prosser Series 8 3

Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature New Design With Flat Display

Wednesday May 18, 2022 6:21 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 could feature an all-new design with a flat display, according to the leaker known as "ShrimpApplePro." In his latest video on the YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Jon Prosser highlighted information from ShrimpApplePro that suggests the Apple Watch Series 8 could feature a flat display in what seems to be a design originally rumored for the Apple Watch Series 7. ...
anker 563 dock ports

Anker's Latest USB-C Docking Station Brings Triple-Display Support to M1 Macs

Wednesday May 18, 2022 7:06 am PDT by
While Apple's early M1-based Macs can only officially support a single external display, there are ways around the limitation. Anker is launching a new 10-in-1 USB-C docking station today which delivers just that. The Anker 563 USB-C dock includes two HDMI ports and a DisplayPort port, and it leverages DisplayLink to carry multiple video signals over a single connection. Given that this hub...
macOS Monterey 2

Apple Releases macOS Monterey 12.4 With Support for Studio Display Webcam Update

Monday May 16, 2022 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Monterey 12.4, the fourth major update to the macOS Monterey operating system that launched in October 2021. macOS Monterey 12.4 comes over two months after the launch of macOS Monterey 12.3, an update that added Universal Control. The ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Monterey‌‌ 12.4 update can be downloaded on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System...
Whatsapp Feature

WhatsApp to Let Users Leave Group Chats 'Silently' and View Rich Link Previews in Status Updates

Tuesday May 17, 2022 3:07 am PDT by
WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will allow users to "silently" leave group chats hosted by the messaging platform instead of all members of the group being notified when they do. As it stands, when someone leaves a group chat, WhatsApp announces their exit to the entire group, making the act of leaving very public. It's not possible right now to leave a group quietly, but WhatsApp...
apple data auction iphone privacy ad

Apple Highlights iPhone's Latest Privacy Features in New 'Data Auction' Ad

Wednesday May 18, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
Apple today shared a new ad highlighting iPhone privacy features like App Tracking Transparency and Mail Privacy Protection that are designed to give users more transparency and control when it comes to their personal data being collected. The ad revolves around a young woman named Ellie who discovers that her personal data is being sold at an auction house, with bids being placed on her...
airpodsproinear

Apple Facing Lawsuit After AirPods Allegedly Ruptured Child's Eardrums With Amber Alert

Tuesday May 17, 2022 11:40 am PDT by
Apple's AirPods ruptured the eardrums of a 12-year-old boy in 2020 when a loud Amber Alert was issued, according to a lawsuit filed against Apple in California (via Law360). The child, identified as B.G. in the filing, was watching a movie on Netflix on his iPhone in 2020 while wearing AirPods Pro. The AirPods Pro were allegedly set at a low volume, but an Amber Alert sounded without warning ...
apple store palo alto

Apple Reinstating Employee Mask Mandate at Approximately 100 U.S. Retail Stores

Tuesday May 17, 2022 11:11 am PDT by
Apple retail employees at around 100 stores will need to go back to wearing a mask while working, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple is mandating masks for employees again due to a rising number of COVID cases across the United States. Customers who visit an Apple Store are not required to wear a mask at this time, but Apple is continuing to recommend masks for all Apple Store...