We haven’t got many details on this yet, but a slide in the WWDC presentation reveals that Apple is updating the HomePod to support third-party music services, like Spotify. Right now, the HomePod only works natively with Apple Music.
Presumably, this will require apps to update to integrate with a new API or framework that allows their services to run on the HomePod itself. Theoretically, this means the HomePod can now be controlled by Spotify, although Spotify is yet to commit to a release timeframe. This will be the first time Apple has allowed third-party software to run natively on the HomePod hardware.
The status quo with current software is that the HomePod will answer all Siri music requests by initiating Apple Music. Third-party services like Spotify can only be played on the HomePod by way of AirPlaying a stream from another device.
We will obviously bring you more details on how this will all work as we get it. It’s currently unclear if other audio apps like podcast clients will be able to participate.
Later this year, Apple is expected to grow the HomePod family with a HomePod mini. Supporting services other than Apple Music helps expand the HomePod’s appeal. It also helps address some of the anticompetitive allegations the company is receiving, with Spotify filing a formal complaint to the EU last year that Apple explicitly disadvantaged competing music services to promote Apple Music adoption.
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