As a totally new product, many questions still surround the launch of the HomePod.
One has to do with what the speaker will be able to reproduce. A few days ago, I explained to my namesake Rafael Rigues on Facebook that, contrary to what he had understood, the HomePod will be an AirPlay receiver like any other.
I think one of the problems with this confusion is that Apple is obviously hitting the Apple Music key a lot when it comes to HomePod. As it also has no auxiliary / P2 input, many may find that only those who subscribe to the streaming you can use it. But not quite.
In a new section on “Audio Sources” on the HomePod technical specifications page, Apple clarifies that it will be able to play content from the following sources:
- Apple Music
- ITunes Store purchases
- ICloud Music Library for both Apple Music and iTunes Match subscribers
- Radio Beats 1
- AirPlay (from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV or Mac)
The first five items can all be ordered by Siri, but for me one of the most important is precisely the last. Via AirPlay, you can have anything play on the HomePod – including, for example, Spotify songs on your iPhone. For those who don’t have a home theater, HomePod can also be used as a powerful speaker for Apple TV.
In addition, it is worth noting that the HomePod is compatible with the audio formats HE-AAC (V1), AAC (16Kbps to 320Kbps), protected AAC (from the iTunes Store), MP3 (16Kbps to 320Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, AIFF, WAV and even FLAC.
On a related note, the 9to5Mac found that future HomePod software updates will all be done through the Casa app (Home), where it is managed from. The interface itself will be similar to what we are used to when updating iOS itself.
Coverage of HomePod launch
Thanks to Go Imports, The MacMagazine will provide full coverage of the launch of HomePod, putting hands on the product on February 9 and bringing, first hand, videos and articles about everything that permeates the first generation of this new Apple product.
Stay tuned that good stuff is coming! ?