The beta of iOS 16 evokes in spite of itself a potential new HomePod | TechBuzz

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Launched yesterday at the end of the WWDC 2022 opening keynote, the iOS 16 beta contains a clue suggesting that a new HomePod is in the making.

Apple’s two HomePods in mini and maxi versions // Source: Frandroid / Arnaud GELINEAU

Apple has been allowing developers to familiarize themselves with iOS 16 for a few hours through a first beta launched last night at the end of the conference. The latter provides a solid overview of the new features announced during the American giant’s keynote, starting with the new lock screen, the widgets that go with it, but also the new notification system or the improvements made to the application. Messages, among others. At the same time, this beta of iOS 16 dedicated to developers also includes a small clue which suggests that a new HomePod is in the cards.

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Digging through the code for iOS 16, 9to5Mac discovered a hint of what appears to be a new smart speaker, yet to be announced by Apple. The specialized site reports that this new HomePod is referred to in the OS as “AudioAccessory6”, while the HomePod mini and the original HomePod bear the nicknames “AudioAccessory5” and “AudioAccessory1” respectively in the latest version of iOS.

iOS 16 stands ready for a new HomePod

So far, no more detailed information has been discovered in iOS 16 regarding this potential new HomePod. It turns out, however, that the meager clue discovered by 9to5Mac is in line with one of Ming-Chi Kuo’s predictions. A few weeks ago, the analyst had indicated that Apple was preparing for the launch of a new HomePod at the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023. On the software level, it therefore seems that iOS 16 stands ready.

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It remains to be seen what type of HomePod Apple could offer us in this short time. Previously, rumors about a sophisticated model, mixing HomePod and Apple TV, had been shared by Mark Gurman, journalist for Bloomberg. This promising model would however be far from being ready to enter the market. Apple would also be working on a new large model HomePod, to replace the one removed from its catalog last year, but according to Ming-Chi Kuo, the model approached for this end of the year would be satisfied with minor novelties. So it’s a safe bet that a slightly redesigned version of the HomePod mini is actually to be expected… while waiting for better.

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