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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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
2 weeks ago
When will Apple realize? It's not about improving sound quality. It's about improving Siri!
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PinkyMacGodess Avatar
2 weeks ago
Seems a little late for this, don't it?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yadmonkey Avatar
2 weeks 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
2 weeks 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

homepod feature triad

Apple Removes References to Original HomePod From Website, Months After Discontinuation

Monday October 18, 2021 12:07 pm PDT by
Apple has removed all references to the original, full-sized HomePod from its website, months after officially discontinuing the smart speaker that struggled to reach mainstream adoption. The removal of references to the original HomePod came as a result of brand new changes to Apple's website. With the new changes, Apple now only highlights the HomePod mini, which now comes in brand new...
HomePodandMini feature orange

Apple Releases New HomePod 15 Software With Siri Playback Support, HomePod Mini Stereo Pairs, and More

Monday September 20, 2021 10:02 am PDT by
Alongside iOS 15, iPadOS 15, tvOS 15, and watchOS 8, Apple today released new software that's designed for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The HomePod 15 software update introduces several new features that are designed to work in tandem with tvOS and iOS. - Select a single or pair of HomePod mini as the default speakers for your Apple TV 4K for rich room-filling sound and clear dialogue. ...
homepod feature triad

Apple Considered Updating Original HomePod With Improved Processor Before Deciding to Discontinue It

Monday July 26, 2021 1:28 am PDT by
Before deciding to discontinue the original HomePod, Apple had internally deliberated updating it to feature an improved processor, a move the tech giant may have seen as a last-ditch attempt to reignite demand for its smart speaker. In a tidbit in his latest newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman says that before discontinuing the HomePod, Apple "had internally discussed making a new...
HomePodandMini feature green

HomePod 15.1 Beta Adds Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos Support

Tuesday September 21, 2021 12:55 pm PDT by
Alongside the iOS 15.1 beta, Apple has also introduced a HomePod 15.1 beta that brings Lossless and Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio support to the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The HomePod beta software is invite only and is not provided to developers for testing purposes, but 9to5Mac was able to confirm that Lossless and Spatial Audio support are included in the beta. Apple added Dolby Atmos...
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 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...
HomePod Crash Feature

HomePod Users Complain of Sudden Failures, Could Be Linked to 14.6 and 15 Updates

Wednesday July 7, 2021 10:06 am PDT by
Original HomePod models appear to be mysteriously failing at an increasing rate, according to multiple MacRumors readers and complaints on Reddit and Twitter. Many of the HomePods that have suddenly stopped working were running the beta version of the HomePod 15 software, but some affected users had HomePods with the 14.6 software installed. MacRumors reader Jose said that his 18-month-old...
homepod mini hand

Deals: Get $25 Off HomePod Mini Today at Walmart [Update: Out of Stock]

Thursday October 14, 2021 7:00 am PDT by
Walmart today has a rare deal on Apple's HomePod mini, priced at $74.17, down from $99.00. This sale is only available in the White color. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The HomePod mini is shipped and sold directly by Walmart, and it's in...
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...
HomePod With Screen and Arm FaceTime Feature 2

Gurman: Combined HomePod/Apple TV Device Remains in Early Development

Friday May 28, 2021 5:57 am PDT by
Apple's work on a new combined HomePod and Apple TV device is ongoing, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. As has been previously reported, Gurman reiterated that the new device will feature a built-in screen and a camera for FaceTime calls.As part of its broader home, audio and accessories strategy, Apple has also begun early development of a HomePod speaker with a built-in...