Apple adds new HomePod features at WWDC

Subtle changes but good news for HomePod users

Apple adds new HomePod features at WWDC

Apple has given HomePod its first substantial update since launch, unveiling a set of new features at WWDC.

While the smart home didn’t get tons of time at Apple’s developer conference, the smart speaker has continued its evolution.

Essential reading: All the changes to Apple TV at WWDC

HomePod will now have the ability to know who’s speaking to it, recognizing individual voices in the family. This means personalized music and recommendations from Siri, as well as messages and calendar reminders – just like Google Voice Match, which enables households to share the use of Google Home speakers.

At the keynote, Apple announced the ability to handoff music from your iOS device to the HomePod itself. That means when you get home listening to music or a podcast you can then finish that on your smart speaker. Hand-off goes the other way too, and you can walk out of the door and continue playback on your iPhone too.

Apple adds new HomePod features at WWDC

Finally, live radio is finally coming to HomePod. That means on-demand access to 100,000 radio stations – via TuneIn and Radio.com apps. It’s certainly not going to change the fortunes of HomePod overnight, which hasn’t been setting the smart home world of fire since launch, but it's something.

However, even the price cut offered to HomePod hasn’t really changed the balance on the market – which is heavily dominated by Amazon and Google.

But with so little time offered to the smart home – it seems Apple is happy to let its offerings tick along for now.

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