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Apple HomePod’s New Lease on Life: Hands-Free Spotify with iOS 17 Workaround

Apple’s HomePod, the tech giant’s answer to smart speakers, has always been a marvel in terms of audio quality. However, its tight integration with Apple Music and limited third-party support has often been a point of contention for users. With the release of iOS 17, this is about to change, bringing joy to Spotify users worldwide.

A Shift in Siri’s Capabilities

Apple’s iOS 17 promises to introduce new voice control options for HomePod users. Until the advent of this update, the HomePod was a hard sell for those not deeply entrenched in the Apple Music ecosystem. Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, primarily supported Apple’s own music service and a handful of others. But with iOS 17, Apple is leveraging its AirPlay technology to extend Siri’s capabilities to other third-party apps installed on the user’s iPhone or iPad.

What does this mean for the end-user? Simply put, HomePod owners can now ask Siri to play content from Spotify. The music or content will be sourced directly from the user’s device, rather than being streamed independently. While apps with native support will still stream directly from the cloud, this new feature offers a workaround for those apps that don’t.

WWDC 2023 Revelations

Apple first hinted at this functionality during its WWDC 2023 event. Further insights from 9to5Mac have shed more light on the matter. The essence of this update is to make the HomePod more versatile, especially for those who aren’t Apple Music subscribers.

When a user makes a request via the HomePod, a SiriKit intent is dispatched to the iPhone. Siri then initiates the respective app and uses AirPlay to relay the content back to the HomePod. In layman’s terms, Siri on the HomePod will now utilize the iPhone to play requested content via AirPlay.

A Boon for Spotify Lovers

While Spotify doesn’t have a dedicated app for the HomePod, its iPhone and iPad apps are SiriKit API compatible. This makes the integration smooth and provides a much-needed workaround for music enthusiasts. For those who’ve been on the fence about getting a HomePod due to its limited third-party support, this update might just be the push they need. Whether it’s the HomePod Mini or the 2nd generation HomePod, the appeal has undoubtedly increased.

Key Takeaways:

  • iOS 17 introduces extended voice control options for HomePod.
  • Siri can now play content from third-party apps like Spotify via AirPlay.
  • The content is sourced directly from the user’s iPhone or iPad.
  • This update enhances the HomePod’s appeal, especially for non-Apple Music subscribers.

In conclusion, Apple’s move to make the HomePod more inclusive of third-party apps is a welcome change. It not only enhances the device’s utility but also broadens its appeal to a wider audience. Spotify users, in particular, have a reason to rejoice. The future looks bright for the HomePod, and it will be interesting to see how the market responds to these changes.