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
7 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
7 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
7 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
7 weeks ago
Seems a little late for this, don't it?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yadmonkey Avatar
7 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
7 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

HomePodandMini feature green

Apple Releases HomePod Software 15.1.1 With Podcasts Bug Fix

Wednesday November 3, 2021 10:19 am PDT by
After releasing tvOS 15.1.1 for the Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K yesterday, Apple today introduced a new 15.1.1 software update designed for the HomePod. According to Apple's release notes for the update, it addresses a problem that could cause podcasts to fail to play on the HomePod and HomePod mini. ‌‌‌‌‌‌HomePod‌‌‌‌‌‌‌ software is installed automatically on the ...
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

Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos Support Come to HomePod With 15.1 Software Update

Monday October 25, 2021 9:59 am PDT by
Alongside the iOS 15.1 update that was released today, Apple has introduced a new 15.1 software update that's designed for the HomePod and the HomePod mini. The HomePod update introduces Lossless Audio and Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio to Apple's HomePods, bringing them in line with other devices that have supported the features since earlier this year. Lossless Audio is available on both the...
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 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...
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...
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...

Popular Stories

Mac Notebook Upgrade Program

Apple Introduces New MacBook Upgrade Program for Business Partners

Monday November 29, 2021 7:38 am PST by
In association with CIT as the financing partner, Apple has launched a new Mac Upgrade Program for small businesses and Apple business partners that allow companies to easily distribute and upgrade their fleets of MacBooks at an affordable price to all of their workers. As outlined on CIT's website, shared by Max Weinbach, Apple Business Partners can distribute the 13-inch MacBook Pro,...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature

Best Cyber Monday Deals for AirPods, Apple Pencil, iMac, More

Monday November 29, 2021 4:19 am PST by
With Black Friday over, Cyber Monday 2021 is now in full swing and you can find many of the same sales as last week on Apple products like AirPods, Apple Pencil, and iPad Pro. In this article we're focusing on the best Cyber Monday discounts on Apple products like these and more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we...
2017 apple tv

Cyber Monday: Original Apple TV 4K Drops to $99.99 for Amazon Prime Members

Monday November 29, 2021 12:01 pm PST by
We've been tracking Apple product and accessory deals for Cyber Monday 2021 today, and now Woot is offering a solid discount on the previous generation 32GB Apple TV 4K. You can get this device in new condition for just $99.99 if you're an Amazon Prime member. Note that this sale will last for one day only. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
iPhone SE Cosmopolitan Clean

New iPhone SE Reportedly on Track for Release in First Quarter of 2022

Tuesday November 30, 2021 8:08 am PST by
Apple plans to release a third-generation iPhone SE in the first quarter of 2022, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. If this timeframe proves to be accurate, we can expect the device to be released by the end of March. As previously rumored, TrendForce said the new iPhone SE will remain a mid-range smartphone with added support for 5G:In terms of product development, Apple is...
maxresdefault

Five Features to Look Forward to in the 2022 MacBook Air

Tuesday November 30, 2021 1:51 pm PST by
In 2022, Apple is going to release an updated version of the MacBook Air with some of the biggest design changes that we've seen since 2010, when Apple introduced the 11 and 13-inch size options. In the video below, we highlight five features that you need to know about the new machine. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. No More Wedge Design - Current MacBook...
telsa cyberwhistle

Elon Musk Urges Customers to Buy 'Tesla Cyberwhistle' Instead of Apple Polishing Cloth

Wednesday December 1, 2021 4:01 am PST by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has encouraged customers to buy the "Cyberwhistle" for $50 instead of Apple's much-discussed Polishing Cloth. The product page, which Musk shared on Twitter on Tuesday evening, offers a limited edition stainless steel whistle with the same distinctive design of the Tesla Cybertruck:Inspired by Cybertruck, the limited-edition Cyberwhistle is a premium collectible made from ...
General cyber monday 20 sale feature 2

Best Cyber Monday Apple Accessory Deals Available Today

Monday November 29, 2021 6:41 am PST by
We started sharing deals on Apple products for Cyber Monday 2021 earlier today, and now we're tracking deals and bargains available from all of the best Apple accessory companies. Similar to Black Friday, you can expect Cyber Monday savings from Twelve South, Nomad, Belkin, Casetify, and many more. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and...
iphone holiday

Best Black Friday iPhone Deals Still Available

Friday November 26, 2021 4:58 am PST by
Cellular carriers have always offered big savings on the newest iPhone models during the holidays, and Black Friday 2021 sales have now carried over into Cyber Monday as well. Right now we're tracking notable offers on the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro devices from AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. For even more savings, keep an eye on older models like iPhone SE. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate...
airpods prototype translucent

Transparent AirPods and 29W Power Adapter Prototypes Surface in Photos

Tuesday November 30, 2021 7:16 am PST by
Images of transparent prototype AirPods and a 29W Apple power adapter have been shared on Twitter by Apple device collector Giulio Zompetti. The prototypes, which appear to be either first-generation or second-generation AirPods, feature clear plastic along the stem and around the outer side of the earbud, with the normal white plastic on the inner side of the earbud. Transparent casings are ...