Tuesday, October 31, 2017

HomePod to Run Apps Through iPhone/iPad


iOS 11.2 introduces SiriKit for HomePod, the powerful speaker that sounds amazing, adapts to wherever it’s playing, and provides instant access to Apple Music. HomePod is also a helpful home assistant for everyday questions and tasks. With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, users can access iOS apps for Messaging, Lists, and Notes.

Mark Gurman:

Voice apps don’t run on the HomePod, HomePod serves as a speaker to the iPhone. Only works with SiriKit for messaging, notes, and list apps.

So, no apps like Uber/Lyft (would have been perfect for the HomePod), no new Siri functionality for apps like Spotify (obvious-ish).

Benjamin Mayo:

The HomePod listens for a request from a user. If it recognises it as a request meant for a third party app, it sends the necessary data to a nearby iPhone/iPad with the app installed. The iOS device sends the response back to the HomePod, which speaks the reply. It’s similar to how WatchKit 1.0 worked where the connected phone did all of the heavy-lifting for third-party Watch apps.


Most significantly for HomePod is how it behaves as a device shared by multiple people. Or more accurately, how it seemingly ignores any such attempt to be a shared home product at the software level. It seems like one user will sign into the HomePod with Apple ID and iCloud, and all Siri features will be funnelled through that one account. This applies to first-party and third party services.

Update (2017-11-01): Manton Reece:

The problem for Siri is that Apple’s competition with Amazon and Google isn’t on a level playing field. Siri won’t “catch up” to Alexa because the architectures are fundamentally different, with SiriKit locked to the device while Alexa expands quickly to new products and thousands of extensible skills in the cloud.

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I'll admit, I don't see the expansive vision or much of the current appeal some folks seem to have for so-called smart speakers. So can anyone explain why "apps like Uber/Lyft (would have been perfect for the HomePod)" when the % of times a person will want to hail a cab w/o their phone on/near their person is basically zero?

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