When I first joined 9to5Mac a year and a half ago, I wrote that HomePod needed to properly count Apple Music’s played songs and stats. After all this time and with two major operating system updates, Apple didn’t succeed in fixing this issue. HomePod still plays random albums when you ask Siri to play songs you like, but, to be fair, the company’s smart speaker has evolved a lot.
For example, HomePod is able to perform a task that no iPhone can do: set multiple timers. This groundbreaking feature still has to see its way to iOS – maybe with iOS 17 next year. But, in addition to that, Apple’s own smart speaker – which got discontinued sometime in 2021 – was able to receive some fine extra features before its farewell from the stores.
For example, Apple is continuing to add new Siri languages and voice recognition through updates. With an iOS 15 version, the company even brought the long-awaited Lossless and Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio features.
While it took a while for users to understand how to take advantage of these functions, we all know that all HomePod models can stream in Lossless. Dolby Atmos, on its way, can be enabled with an OG model or two mini versions paired.
Another interesting addition arrived with iOS 16 that now lets HomePod mini owners try its public beta operating system for the first time. Although Apple hasn’t changed a thing with version 16 – and, as of now, it seems 16.1 will also be featureless – at least more users can take advantage of upcoming products, which leads me to the next topic: Which features should Apple add?
HomePod still lacks some functions
First and foremost, Apple needs to fix play counts. In addition, it doesn’t make sense that the HomePod plays random albums since it’s always checking our personal library. If I have Voyage’s I Still Have Faith In You by ABBA in my library, why would I want the smart speaker to play another version that I don’t even have added to my songs?
Another important feature that it’s also lacking for the smart speaker – and it’s related to Apple Music – is the ability to create private listening sessions – although since HomePod can’t count songs properly, it always sounds like a private session.
Last but not least, as Apple slowly rolls out more language support, it would be fundamental for the company to make Siri understand more languages at once. For example, it’s a nightmare to ask in English for Siri to play a Brazilian song. The other way around is also impossible.
As Apple is rumored to be readying a new HomePod model for next year, it will be interesting to see how the company will make a refined product as the original version, but without charging that much – which made people not buy it in the first place.
Personally, I still feel honored that my original HomePod still works. I also have two HomePod minis that I use with my Apple TV, and they’ve been doing just fine.
Which feature do you wish Apple’s own smart speaker had? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.