- Apple’s smart speaker, HomePod, will go on sale in December for $US349. People will use it by talking to it.
- Apple wants developers to make Siri apps for the HomePod, but only in a few categories — messaging, lists, and notes.
- This means that users won’t be able to tell the HomePod to play music from Spotify, although Apple’s streaming service, Apple Music, is supported.
Apple encouraged developers on Monday to make apps for HomePod, Apple’s new smart speaker that will go on sale before the end of the year.
Because the HomePod does not have a screen, users are expected to interact with it primarily by talking to it and to Apple’s voice assistant, Siri.
But the third-party apps that Apple is opening the doors for on the HomePod are fairly limited — Apple says that only apps that revolve around messaging, lists, and notes can integrate with Siri on the HomePod and will use a nearby iPhone or iPad to process commands.
The lack of music app support means that users won’t be able to play Spotify on the HomePod the way it was intended — by using your voice to tell it to play a song. (Users also won’t be able to order an Uber or Lyft by speaking to the HomePod, or make a call on Skype, based on the limited app categories.)
Apple Music users, of course, can call up their favourite tracks or albums by speaking to the smart speaker.
“We are always working to have Spotify available across all platforms, but we don’t have any further information to share at this time,” a Spotify representative told Business Insider, pointing out that users will be able to play Spotify on the HomePod speaker by using the AirPlay feature from an iPhone or iPad. Users will control the music by tapping around the Spotify smartphone app, rather than by using verbal commands.
“Third party apps like Spotify would just play music on HomePod using AirPlay 2, as we said back in June,” an Apple representative told Business Insider. AirPlay enables HomePod to be used like other wireless speakers.
When Apple first opened up Siri to third-party developers it took a similar approach. At first, Apple limited Siri access to apps only in a few categories, such as ride-hailing and fitness, although it expanded the number of categories earlier this summer.
However, Siri still does not support music apps on the iPhone and Spotify has no Siri features.