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A new Apple HomePod might just have been confirmed by iOS 16

Apple HomePod Mini
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's newly-released iOS 16 beta contains new features such as personalised spatial audio – but it also contains references to a new audio device.

As spotted by 9to5Mac, there are numerous references to "AudioAccessory6", which is thought to be the official Apple model identifier for the long-rumoured Apple HomePod 2. (For the uninitiated, the original HomePod has long been known as "AudioAccessory1", while the HomePod Mini goes by "AudioAccessory5".) 

The code doesn't reveal much else, but Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, arguably the best-connected Apple tipster in the business, has previously said that the HomePod 2 will be sized between the original and the Mini, and that it could be a Frankenstein-style combination of a HomePod, Apple TV and a FaceTime camera.

The first HomePod arrived in February 2020, swiftly followed by the Mini in November 2020. Both are among the best smart speakers we've tested, but with the original now retired, and Amazon releasing smart speakers by the dozen, a new HomePod could be in order.

Just two weeks ago, respected Apple watcher Ming-Chi Kuo tipped the new HomePod to land later this year – possibly alongside the rumoured iPhone 14. Fingers crossed.

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Tom is a journalist, copywriter and content designer based in the UK. He has written articles for T3, ShortList, The Sun, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph, Elle Deco, The Sunday Times, Men's Health, Mr Porter, Oracle and many more (including What Hi-Fi?). His specialities include mobile technology, electric vehicles and video streaming.