Siri & HomePod Welcome Third-Party Apps with iOS 17 With iOS 17, Apple is breaking new ground, enabling HomePod to play nice with third-party applications. Despite its inherent ability to stream Apple Music, HomePod's support for other apps has been notably lacking. Apple aims to change this, allowing users to use Siri to stream content from their preferred audio apps on their iPhones and iPads.

Apple is poised to enhance the HomePod experience, with updates to Siri and AirPlay having been unveiled at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2023. These updates will empower HomePod owners to command media playback from third-party iOS apps that don’t have native HomePod compatibility.

However, these third-party apps must be in sync with SiriKit API, which allows users to control the app via Siri. When a command is given to the HomePod, a SiriKit intent is dispatched to the user’s iPhone, which triggers the app and returns the content stream to the HomePod via AirPlay. Notably, this seamless integration requires the iOS device and the HomePod to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

The media coverage for this integration is extensive, including music apps, podcasts, radio, audiobooks, and even meditation. Users can ask Siri to play specific artists, songs, albums, genres, and top hits as they would typically do on their iPhone or iPad.

Apple’s voice recognition technology ensures that when multiple users are registered with the Home app, commands are directed to the appropriate user’s device. This update makes the HomePod more versatile for users not subscribed to Apple Music by providing access to a wider array of streaming services.

Even popular apps like Spotify, which currently lacks native HomePod support, can play songs on the speaker via Siri using the SiriKit API with iOS 17.

Apple’s upgrades to AirPlay in iOS 17 also ensure a more dependable user experience. The OS now uses your listening preferences to suggest AirPlay when a compatible speaker is in proximity, facilitating a smoother, on-the-move media experience.

HomePod mini in blue

iOS 17 is presently available as a beta version to developers, with a public release slated for fall. A public beta is expected to drop by July, providing users with a sneak peek at these exciting features before the official rollout.

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