What’s next for Apple’s HomePod? Touchscreen, New OS, Camera & More!

The HomePod is expected to get a MAJOR update in 2024. Here’s what’s coming…

When Apple first released the original HomePod in 2017, I wasn’t a big fan of it. Sure, it sounded amazing – better than any other smart speaker then or since – but at $349 it was wildly overpriced.

But in 2020, Apple introduced the HomePod mini – and I quickly became a fan of the tiny smart speakers. For their size and compared to other similar smart speakers, the HomePod mini sounds AMAZING. It’s so good, I actually use just one as my main television speaker.

Then in 2022, Apple reintroduced the full-sized HomePod with improved features, like a humidity sensor, and lowered the price point to $299. That HomePod is still the king of the smart speaker market when it comes to sound quality and the reduced price is welcome.

But Apple isn’t sitting on its laurels when it comes to the HomePod lineup. A spate of recent rumors suggests Apple is gearing up to introduce a radically new HomePod in 2024. Here’s what you can expect…

What’s next for Apple’s HomePod? Touchscreen, New OS, Camera & More!Pin
AI-generated mockup

HomePod 2024: Touchscreen

The 2024 HomePod is expected to gain a touch screen. The screen I currently rumored to be 7-inches, but we’re not sure what form that 7-inches will take. Will it be a rectangle? A square? A circle?

All we know is that it will be 7-inches, according to respected industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a blog post on Medium Kuo wrote:

“I predict that Apple will unveil a redesigned HomePod featuring a 7-inch panel in 1H24, with Tianma as the exclusive panel supplier.”

Ming-Chi Kuo

It should be noted that both the HomePod mini and large HomePod currently have a touchscreen. However, that touchscreen is small and it doesn’t display any kind of user interface. You can interact with it via basic tap controls and the touchscreen can display various swirling colors, but it is by no means a traditional graphical user interface.

With the addition of a 7-inch touchscreen, it’s highly likely that the 2024 HomePod will redefine what a HomePod is.

HomePod 2024: Camera

There have also been rumors that a future HomePod will feature a FaceTime camera embedded in it. This makes sense especially if you consider that there are also rumors the HomePod will be combined with the Apple TV set-top box. If so, the HomePod would likely sit at the center of the living room – and if it’s equipped with a camera it would allow users to take video calls right from their couch – with the video feed displayed on their television screen.

Given Apple has also added Center Stage technology to iPads, which allows the camera to track people around the room, it seems likely such technology could make it into the HomePod camera as well.

HomePod 2024: New Operating System

If the 2024 HomePod is getting a graphical user interface and a camera, it’s likely the new HomePod would also run a new operating system. Right now the HomePod runs a version of tvOS, the operating system that powers the Apple TV.

But Kip says the 2024 HomePod could see Apple redefine its home strategy – and it makes sense that Apple would then transition from tvOS to a new operating system some have called “homeOS”. As Kuo notes:

“The HomePod, which equips a panel, could enable tighter integration with Apple’s other hardware products, marking a significant shift in the company’s smart home strategy.”

Ming-Chi Kuo

So what about the future of the HomePod lineup?

HomePod 2024: The 2024 HomePod Lineup

If Apple does unveil a radically new HomePod in 2024 with a touchscreen and camera it’s likely Apple won’t kill the other HomePods in the lineup – the HomePod and HomePod mini. Instead, it’s likely Apple will then have at least three models in their HomePod range – with the touchscreen model being the premium model.

Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.

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