Apple Quietly Moves HomePod to Using tvOS Instead of iOS


The HomePod has been rather of an conundrum when it comes to a embedded handling complement that it runs, given Apple has never unequivocally come right out and tangible it quite well. Early versions of a program updates simply referred to it with names like “HomePod 11.3” while creation anxiety to iOS in a outline field, while some-more new releases in a iOS 13 epoch indeed came right out and called it “iOS 13.x.”

That said, we’ve famous all along that a HomePod essentially ran a derivative of iOS, powered by Apple’s 2014-era A8 chip, however due to Apple’s rather schizophrenic fixing conventions for a HomePod updates over a years, while we beheld that Apple went behind to job a latest one “HomePod Software Version 13.4,” we unequivocally didn’t give it many some-more thought.

Now, however, it looks like there competence have indeed been a reason for this change over a HomePod’s prior temperament crisis. Digging into a latest HomePod firmware, 9to5Mac has detected that Apple has sensitively shifted it divided from a iOS underpinnings, basing it now instead on tvOS — the handling complement that’s been used on a Apple TV set-top box given 2015.

iOS vs tvOS

To be positively clear, tvOS is not a essentially opposite handling complement from iOS. In fact, many like a new iPadOS, both tvOS and watchOS are derived directly from a same iOS foundation. This means during a core there’s not many difference, though during a aloft levels, however, Apple adapts any one to a specific needs for their particular platforms.

For example, watchOS is apparently designed to be extremely some-more lightweight than a full iOS implementation, deliberation a device that it needs to run on. Conversely, tvOS doesn’t have to worry about things like appetite management, given it runs on a device that has no inner batteries and is always plugged in.

In fact, this would be one of a commonalities between a HomePod and a Apple TV right off a bat, so it’s distinct to see because tvOS competence be a improved fit for a HomePod than a mobile-optimized iOS.

What This Means

Right now, it’s doubtful you’re going to notice a disproportion between iOS and tvOS on a HomePod, however it does pave a approach for Apple to do some things differently with a intelligent speaker, as good as approaching creation it easier to broach a fast height by stealing components that unequivocally don’t need to be there.

Technically speaking, a HomePod should have gotten a possess singular bend of iOS in a initial place, though it approaching wasn’t a poignant adequate device for Apple’s program engineering group to spend a appetite to do so. However, a pierce to a tvOS bottom positively creates a lot some-more clarity for a series of reasons.

For one thing, both a Apple TV and HomePod also act as home hubs for HomeKit. Although this is a duty that can also be rubbed by an iPad, definition a formula is also in iPadOS, it’s distinct how it competence be implemented a bit differently in a inscription than in a device that stays in a home and is always plugged in.

Another engaging indicate that 9to5mac makes, however, is that there’s a good possibility that iOS 14 will dump support for mobile inclination that use a A8 chip. This includes usually a iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, a sixth-generation iPod touch, and a iPad mini 4. The iPad Air 2, that uses a A8X, would approaching also be on this list. As it stands, iOS 13 already forsaken support for many of these devices, while iPadOS 13 continues to support a iPad mini 4 and iPad Air 2.

However, even as Apple is finally approaching to launch another HomePod speaker, it’s doubtful to pause a stream HomePod. The 2015 fourth-generation Apple TV (now famous as a Apple TV HD) also still uses a same A8 chip as a HomePod, and nonetheless Apple is also approaching to betray a new Apple TV after this year, given a fact that a set-top boxes offer as profitable adequate gateways to services like Apple TV+ to make it essentially revive a 2012 third-generation Apple TV, we unequivocally don’t consider a Apple TV HD is going divided any time soon.

So removing a HomePod onto tvOS creates it easier to continue ancillary it alongside a comparison Apple TV with a tvOS 14 refurbish after this year that will continue to be powered by a A8 chip, and it also creates it many easier for Apple’s program group to gloss adult a HomePod user knowledge and broach new features.

Further, given a stream HomePod seems to run usually excellent with a A8 chip, there’s no reason to trust that Apple competence not continue to use this comparison chip in a new HomePod mini that now appears to be moulding adult for recover in a really nearby future. In fact, adding support to yesterday’s report, 9to5Mac also found formula in a new HomePod 13.4 firmware that identifies not usually one, though two new models of HomePod, and a fact that they’re already appearing in iOS 13.4, rather than iOS 14, suggests that they could both arrive earlier than this fall.

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