HomePod Beta 2: support for third-party streaming services

Apple has provided HomePod Beta 2 to registered AppleSeed testers. With the release of the new beta software, the ability to change your default apps on the HomPod has finally arrived. Apple also released the second betas for iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14 & macOS Big Sur along with HomePod Beta 2.

Apple’s HomePod is a wireless-smart speaker that can be controlled by Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri. For a long time, users had been complaining about the speaker not being compatible with many third-party devices and services. Unlike its competitors, Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home Max, previously HomePod’s functionality relied on Apple’s ecosystem only.

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HomePod Beta 2 released

Apple has finally added the ability for users to choose third-party services as a default for their music, podcast, and audiobook apps with HomePod Beta 2. This new feature will enable users to other services rather than Apple Music, Apple Podcast, and Apple Books as the default service when playing something on their HomePod.

HomePod users can already use services like Spotify. But, they are not integrated into the system like Apple Music by default. Since users are only able to get these services to play through their HomePod through AirPlay, the user experience is not as seamless as using a service exclusive to Apple’s ecosystem. Expectedly, this will allow users to be able to use audio services like Spotify, Pandora, Kindle, and more on their HomePod.

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According to Twitter account @ttam110, users will be able to set the default services via the Home app. For each kind of media, users will be able to select a primary service manually:

“There it is…The ability to select default services for Music, Podcasts and Audiobooks on HomePod”

HomePod Beta 2

HomePod Beta 2

As of the most recent iOS update, the only defaults that can be changed by users on the iPhone and iPad will be the email and web browser app. So this new third-party feature could be limited to the HomePod at this time.

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Mobile gaming editor for iThinkDifferent