5 New Features and Changes Rumored for the 2023 HomePod

Later this year, Apple is expected to reintroduce a new full-sized HomePod, a successor to the original smart speaker which was discontinued almost two years ago.

Full HomePod Black
Apple reportedly discontinued the ‌HomePod‌ in March 2021 due to lackluster sales and a lack of features compared to the speakers offered by Amazon and Google. The ‌HomePod‌ lineup remains part of Apple's portfolio thanks to the smaller HomePod mini, which Apple announced in 2020.

The ‌HomePod mini‌, in its smaller form factor and cheaper $99 price point, has been a bigger success than the original ‌HomePod‌. In 2023, Apple is widely expected to reintroduce the full-sized ‌HomePod‌ to its lineup with several new features. Below, we outline five new features and changes we expect from the upcoming ‌HomePod‌.

1. Faster Processor

The original ‌HomePod‌ featured an A8 chip, which helped power music playback, Siri, and more. The upcoming ‌HomePod‌, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, will feature an updated S8 chip from the latest Apple Watch models.

2. U1 Ultra Wideband Chip

homepod mini handoff demonstration
The ‌HomePod mini‌ features a U1 Ultra Wideband chip, which detects when other U1-equipped devices, such as the latest iPhone models, are nearby and allows it to quickly hand off the audio to the smart speaker. The upcoming ‌HomePod‌ could feature the U1 Ultra Wideband chip to bring it to parity with the ‌HomePod mini‌.

The U1 Ultra Wideband chip, in the future, could also allow for other experiences, such as close-range data transfer, improved AR experiences, and the ability to track a user's exact location within their home.

3. Larger Backlit Touch Interface

homepod mini next to iphone
The original ‌HomePod‌ and the ‌HomePod mini‌ feature a backlit touch interface at their top. The interface is small and doesn't show images or text but instead glows different colors to indicate different statuses or when ‌Siri‌ is invoked.

For the upcoming ‌HomePod‌, Apple is expected to make the touch area even larger, according to a recent report by Gurman. It's unclear if the larger area will allow for richer information or expanded functionality.

4. Cheaper Price

homepod mini nest audio amazon echo
When Apple first announced the ‌HomePod‌, it was priced at $349, a higher price point than competing smart speakers on the market. Apple eventually dropped the price to $299 in hopes of sparking sales.

Even at $299, users were still put off by its high price and ‌Siri‌'s shortcomings. With the upcoming model, Apple is expected to drop the price even further, according to several reports. For comparison, Amazon's Echo Studio, which has a similar overall footprint compared to the full-sized ‌HomePod‌, is priced at $199 and has direct integration with several services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Samsung's Smart Things, and more.

5. Faster Software Features

homepod feature triad
The A8 chip powered the original full-sized ‌HomePod‌, which provided adequate performance to power different ‌HomePod‌ features, such as spatial awareness, ‌Siri‌, and more. In recent years, however, users have found that the original ‌HomePod‌ struggles with certain tasks, sometimes making it difficult to use certain features.

Thanks to the S8 chip in the upcoming ‌HomePod‌, users will be able to better use new software features, such as improved ‌Siri‌ capabilities, faster ‌Siri‌ voice recognition for multiple members of a household, and more.

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

Popular Stories

Apple Intelligence General Feature

Apple Intelligence Features Not Coming to European Union at Launch Due to DMA

Friday June 21, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple today said that European customers will not get access to the Apple Intelligence, iPhone Mirroring, and SharePlay Screen Sharing features that are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and Mac this September due to regulatory issues related to the Digital Markets Act. In a statement to Financial Times, Apple said that there will be a delay as it works to figure out how to make the new...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
amazon echo dot

Amazon Could Charge Up to $10/Month for Alexa

Friday June 21, 2024 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple competitor Amazon is working on a revamp of its Alexa assistant, and the new version could cost up to $10 per month, according to a report from Reuters. The upcoming version of Alexa will support conversational generative AI, and Amazon is planning for two tiers of service. There will be a free tier and a second, premium tier that is priced at $5 at a minimum, with Amazon considering...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Launches Cheaper $10.99/Month Premium Plan Without Audiobooks

Friday June 21, 2024 4:22 pm PDT by
Spotify today announced the launch of a new Basic paid plan that offers a small discount for dropping access to audiobooks. Priced at $10.99 per month, the Basic option includes all of the music benefits of Spotify like ad-free playback, but without added monthly audiobook listening time. The $11.99 standard Premium Individual plan that Spotify offers includes ad-free playback and 15 hours...
iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Wednesday June 19, 2024 5:00 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...

Top Rated Comments

bingeciren Avatar
19 months ago
Give me a BT and AUX input then I'll buy it.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Will Co Avatar
19 months ago
One word. Siri. Fix that first, or everything else is a waste of time.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bawstun Avatar
19 months ago
#4 should be #1, since that is the primary reason the product failed.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macropanda Avatar
19 months ago
The price may help a little but that's it. It needs lots more...

Siri that actually works instead of saying "hang on... I'm having trouble doing that right now"
Third party app integration.
More/easier third party music services.
Ability to read Apples own audio books from a voice command instead of Airplaying from another device.
Ability to stream from Music app on a Mac via Home Sharing.
Drop in like the Echo can.
Ability to use purchased music in home automations.
Sound recognition that can trigger an automation like playing white noise when it hears a baby crying (Seriously how is this in a iPhone but not a HomePod????).
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BohemianDances Avatar
19 months ago
Listing “faster software features” as something to look forward to is infuriating. I have 4 of the original HomePods and they used to work flawlessly. Now every update manages to slow them down more and Siri sometimes can’t respond to the simplest command even when Wi-Fi and my pronunciation are completely fine.

I don’t know if I should be updating anymore, hoping for fixes, or if they’re just planning to slowly brick these amazing devices in preparation for a new release.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Game 161 Avatar
19 months ago
still not worth spending big money when siri is still so bad compared to google assistant. got to admit my two homepod mini's and big homepod aren't really being used. Anything of importance I will just ask either my google homes or google mini's.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)