tvOS 17.4 Code References Mysterious homeOS

Code discovered by MacRumors in the first beta of tvOS 17.4 suggests that Apple's work on "homeOS" is continuing behind the scenes.

Back in June 2021, Apple listed two job postings that mentioned homeOS, but deleted the term when it was noticed by the media. We've seen no sign of homeOS since, except for in the first tvOS 17.4 beta.

Apple's 2018 HomePod ran a modified version of iOS 11 when it launched, but Apple transitioned to using the tvOS platform for the ‌HomePod‌ with the release of ‌HomePod‌ Software 13.4. As part of its effort to develop an expanded smart home presence, Apple could eventually combine the tvOS and ‌HomePod‌ software in the future, potentially rebranding it as homeOS.

Apple is actively working on a new smart home display that would compete with the Echo Show, Meta Portal, and Google Nest Hub, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The smart home display is said to have an iPad-like design and a camera for FaceTime calls, and it is likely meant to mount to the wall and serve as a central console for smart home products. The device could also feature HomePod-like speakers, and if the product sees a release, it could be part of Apple's ‌HomePod‌ lineup.

There have also been rumors of a next-generation version of the HomePod with a display at the top of the device, and this product could come out as early as 2024. homeOS could refer to either the iPad-like home hub in the works, or the ‌HomePod‌ with a display, but it is also possible that it is neither of these.

A SharePlay feature for the HomePod added in tvOS 17.4 beta 1 further hints at Apple's work on a ‌HomePod‌ with a screen. The update adds a QR code to the Apple Music app on the TV, which can be scanned by others to start a SharePlay session right on the device. A ‌HomePod‌ with a display could feature a similar function.

tvOS 17.4 is expected to see a public release in March alongside iOS 17.4, and the timing is close to when Apple sometimes holds a spring event. We've heard rumors of an iPad refresh coming in late March, so given the homeOS mention in tvOS 17.4 and a possible upcoming event, we may not have too long to wait before learning more about Apple's homeOS plans.

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Top Rated Comments

Carlson-online Avatar
5 weeks ago
not really very "mysterious", where there's a product called the HomePod.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jvchappy Avatar
5 weeks ago
I truly hope Apple is working on an all-encompassing smart home platform that is less limited than HomeKit. I love my smarthome tech, but it is cumbersome and hard to manage for someone who is not technical. The smart home is truly just a farce at this time.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
5 weeks ago

I truly hope Apple is working on an all-encompassing smart home platform that is less limited than HomeKit. I love my smarthome tech, but it is cumbersome and hard to manage for someone who is not technical. The smart home is truly just a farce at this time.
It's even a hassle for technical people. I had smart plugs, Alexa, bulbs, switches, etc. all over my house for a few years. Summer of last year I got fed up with it and ripped it all out on a weekday evening, every bit of it, and put it on eBay as a lot. Only things I have left are smart thermostats as I have six zones in my house, so it's complicated without them.

Whatever Apple does, it needs to more cross-platform. Isn't that the point of Matter?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacAddict1978 Avatar
5 weeks ago

Apple is actively working on a new smart home display
I am sure Apple could really iterate and make such a device stand out from Google and Amazon - but smart???
Siri is such a deal breaker. I asked her to set a timer yesterday and she started my Volvo. Outside of the deeply devout, no one wants any Smart Home powered by Siri - she can't even find shows well on the Apple TV or really do anything right.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
5 weeks ago
I wish they'd bring back some form of Airport and Time Capsule. Make it a fully fledged home control hub, it could be great. But guess they couldn't do it in a way that makes financial sense.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Smartuser Avatar
5 weeks ago
I would steer clear of something that, if read just a little bit naively, results in a slur. "hOS" would have the same problem. I don't work in marketing, but maybe something referencing "lifestyle" or "things" or may be better.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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