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tvOS 17.4 and HomePod Software 17.4 now available with Siri improvements

Published Mar 7th, 2024 1:12PM EST
Apple TV 4K running the latest tvOS 17.2 with the revamped TV app
Image: Apple Inc.

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After a month of beta testing, Apple has released tvOS 17.4 and HomePod Software 17.4 to Apple TV and HomePod owners. Here’s what you need to know about this mild update.

While the beta cycle of tvOS 17.4 was pretty mild, it was full of references for unreleased products and operating systems. With beta 1, the company added references to unreleased homeOS software.

Most likely, this software could be used for a HomePod with a screen. Bloomberg and other outlets have reported on a HomePod with iPad integration, like an Amazon Echo Show product. Apple is also apparently working on a HomePod with a circular display. That said, instead of the current wave animations that we have on the HomePod, we could see music and weather data, for example.

That would come in handy, as tvOS 17.4 beta was adding a SharePlay feature for Apple Music. iPhone users could scan a QR code on the Apple Music app for the Apple TV and join a SharePlay session to add songs to a list and create a listening party. Unfortunately, Apple removed this function in previous betas.

Besides that, tvOS 17.4 RC also hints at a new HomePod with a screen. 9to5Mac‘s Filipe Espósito found references to an upcoming HomePod with a screen, which is in an “advanced stage of development.” According to Espósito, here’s what he could find with tvOS 17.4 beta:

  • This unreleased device is identified as Z314
  • It is powered by an A15 Bionic chip (which both the newest Apple TV 4K and the iPad mini 6 also are)
  • tvOS 17.4 beta 3 adds support to new SwiftUI frameworks for the HomePod, including a tool used to debug unresponsive UI in iOS apps.

This all leads the journalist to believe Apple is indeed working on a HomePod with a screen.

Activating Siri on HomePodImage source: José Adorno for BGR

In addition, with HomePod Software 17.4 RC, Apple added a new feature for Siri. According to the release notes, “This update enables Siri to learn your preferred media service, so you no longer need to include the name of the media app in your request.”

With that, if you use Pandora or YouTube Music, you don’t need to ask the HomePod to play a song on that streaming, as Siri will understand this is where you usually listen to songs.

José Adorno Tech News Reporter

José is a Tech News Reporter at BGR. He has previously covered Apple and iPhone news for 9to5Mac, and was a producer and web editor for Latin America broadcaster TV Globo. He is based out of Brazil.