Back at WWDC 2017, Apple unveiled a brand new product, the type of device Apple fans were already expecting: a smart speaker that will compete against the Amazon Echo and Google’s Home. Called HomePod and supposed to be launched in December for $349, the device just made the news again as Apple leaked the HomePod firmware, which contains a treasure trove of data.
Developer Steve Troughton-Smith first mentioned the HomePod firmware on Twitter, and he then began exploring the contents of the software. Inside, he discovered references to a facial recognition unlock mechanism coming to the iPhone 8, as well as an actual iPhone 8 schematic showing the handsets design.
But, as expected, the HomePod software contains more clues about how the speaker will work.
HomePod will run a full iOS stack, with the apps getting an “Air” prefix — like AirMusic for music. However, only Apple apps made for the HomePod will run on it initially.
You can expect apps like VoiceOver and accessibility features to be built into HomePod as well.
Third-party app support is likely coming down the road, considering that some of the HomePod’s competitors out there have such abilities. The + and – signs will be used for volume control, but they’re also going to work with Siri, and perform other tasks.
There’s also a screen on top of the HomePod, an LED Matrix that will be able to display shapes and symbols.
Apple will surely confirm some of these HomePod details as we get closer to December, especially since some of them are related to the iPhone 8. After all, why else include all those iPhone 8 details in the HomePod’s firmware?