HomePod 2 Could Feature All-New Touch Interactions

Apple is reportedly considering adding multi-touch functionality to a new version of the HomePod set to launch as soon as next year, hinting at all-new ways to interact with the device.

HomePod With Screen
In a recent newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman explained that Apple is likely to release a successor to the original ‌HomePod‌ next year that could feature multi-touch functionality:

The HomePod, code-named B620, will run the same S8 chip coming to the watches and will be closer to the original HomePod in terms of size and audio performance rather than a new HomePod mini. The new HomePod will have an updated display on top and there's even been some talk of multi-touch functionality.

The report comes after Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that Apple is planning to release "a new version" of the HomePod. He warned that "there may not be much innovation in hardware design" with the new ‌HomePod‌ and "Apple is still figuring out how to succeed in this market."

Apple discontinued the original HomePod last year, partly due to lackluster sales, and said it was focusing on the HomePod mini going forward. Gurman previously said that Apple was considering a new version of the HomePod that would be sized between the original ‌HomePod‌ and the ‌HomePod mini‌, so it seems possible that this is the new smart speaker that Kuo and Gurman are now anticipating.

Such a device could replace the now-discontinued ‌HomePod‌, and it would likely be more expensive than the ‌HomePod mini‌ but less expensive than the larger ‌HomePod‌. The ‌HomePod‌ originally debuted for $349, before Apple reduced it to $299 just over a year later, but a lower price for a new ‌HomePod‌ could make sense given the difficulties caused by its predecessor's high price point compared to equivalent smart speakers from Google and Amazon.

Multi-touch functionality indicates that the ‌HomePod‌ may feature a full touch screen, rather than the comparatively simple LED array that previous ‌HomePod‌ models have offered, which only allow users to play, pause, activate Siri, or change the playback volume. This could enable whole new ways to interact with the ‌HomePod‌ with touch, such as skipping tracks, selecting music, setting timers, and more. Such a display could be accommodated by the S8 chip, which would be the most powerful chip to come to a ‌HomePod‌ model to date and put it on par with the Apple Watch Series 8.

Multi-touch could also let the new ‌HomePod‌ set the groundwork for a host of new Apple smart home devices. In the long term, Apple is believed to be rethinking its smart home strategy and is reportedly working on a combined Apple TV and HomePod device, as well as a HomePod with a screen mounted on a robotic arm. The ‌HomePod‌ already runs a variant of tvOS, and there are indications that Apple is working on a new "homeOS" platform.

Kuo believes that the device could launch as soon as fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, while Gurman says that the new ‌HomePod‌ is "unlikely to arrive until next year."

Popular Stories

dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
maxresdefault

Kuo: Apple to Release Foldable iPad With Carbon Fiber Kickstand in 2024

Monday January 30, 2023 12:55 am PST by
Apple will launch a foldable iPad with a carbon fiber kickstand sometime next year, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. In a series of tweets, Kuo said he expects an "all-new design foldable iPad" to be the next big product launch in the iPad lineup, with no other major iPad releases in the next nine to 12 months. The analyst said he...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
tim cook data privacy day

Apple Violated U.S. Labor Laws With Anti-Leak Email

Monday January 30, 2023 3:43 pm PST by
Apple violated United States labor laws when it sent out an email warning employees about leaking confidential information about the company, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said today in a ruling shared by Bloomberg. Rules that Apple has established around leaks "tend to interfere with, restrain or coerce employees" from the exercise of their rights under the National Labor...