Apple Announces iOS 11.2 SiriKit For HomePod, Releases New Firmware Update For The Device

Apple’s HomePod speaker will go on sale in December, and while it faces stiff competition from Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, the Siri-powered device has the potential to make headway in a market that continues to grow.

There is still plenty of scepticism regarding its prowess, however, and while Apple has today made available a new version of iOS for the unreleased device, it has also detailed a new addition to iOS 11.2’s developer beta in the form of SiriKit for HomePod.

SiriKit first arrived as part of iOS 10 and allowed for additional Siri support for things like “to-do lists, notes and reminders, banking for account transfers and balances and apps that display QR codes” when it was later improved as part of iOS 11. Before today, Apple had not confirmed third-party support for HomePod, and while SiriKit stops just short of being capable of integration with the App Store, Apple now wants developers to get their apps ready for HomePod.

iOS 11.2 introduces SiriKit for HomePod, the powerful speaker that sounds amazing, adapts to wherever it’s playing, and provides instant access to Apple Music. HomePod is also a helpful home assistant for everyday questions and tasks. With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, users can access iOS apps for Messaging, Lists, and Notes. Make sure your SiriKit integration is up to date and test your app’s voice-only experience today.

While very, very few people have a HomePod with which to test, the belief is that the inclusion of SiriKit should allow things like task management apps to integrate with the HomePod, letting users add tasks to to their lists using their voice. When it comes to HomePod, however, the actual Siri magic will take place on a local iPhone or iPad, rather than the HomePod itself.

If this all sounds familiar, it is because the Apple Watch originally ran its apps in much the same way, although this approach may make more sense on this occasion, with the HomePod’s lack of a screen hampering it. That said, if the whole idea behind speakers like HomePod is to be able to use your voice, it shouldn’t need a screen now, should it?

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