A HomePod with a screen could arrive sooner than we thought, if one leak is to be believed. Code within the first beta of tvOS 17.4 (spotted by MacRumors) mentions 'homeOS', thought to be Apple's upcoming software platform for the screen-equipped HomePod.
Apple's first-gen HomePod smart speaker launched running a modified version of iOS 11, but Apple since ported it to tvOS, the same software as the Apple TV streaming box. It's thought homeOS will combine tvOS and HomePod software into a platform designed specifically for the smart home.
Apple mentioned homeOS in a couple of job adverts in 2021, but hasn't used the term since.
The screen-equipped HomePod is rumoured to be a rival to the likes of the Amazon Echo Show and Google Nest Hub. It will most likely combine the FaceTime and screen skills of an iPad with the voice controls and sonic abilities of the HomePod 2.
Apple recently added SharePlay to the tvOS 17.4 beta. Scan a QR code on the Apple Music app on the Apple TV, and you can start a SharePlay session. This could also feature on the HomePod with a screen.
We're expecting tvOS 17.4 to drop in March alongside iOS 17.4. Apple usually holds a spring event which could see some new products – possibly an iPad refresh, but the HomePod with a screen could also appear. We'll bring you all the news and rumours when we get them.
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