Apple is working on a new version of HomePod, the company’s smart speaker, and the product is expected to be announced as early as next year, according to a report by Bloomberg.
There have been no details revealed about the new HomePod. Maybe it will have a new look or a more intelligent Siri, the company’s voice assistant.
At the beginning of this month, Apple unveiled a big improvement for Siri at WWDC 2018, Apple’s annual developer event. With the new iOS 12, users will be able to create their customized Siri commands with an app called “Shortcuts.” Similar to routines on Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Shortcuts can trigger a series of actions via one voice command.
For example, when users say “Heading home,” Siri will start to set the smart thermostat at home to 70 degrees, turn on the fan in the living room, open Maps for navigation and play songs from Apple Music.
In the Shortcuts app, iPhone users can download some shortcuts from third-party apps for Siri and add them into customized Siri commands. After users record a certain words for the series of actions and add multiple shortcuts into one command, Siri will execute multiple actions when it hears the keywords.
At the developer conference, however, Apple didn’t mention whether shortcuts will be available on HomePod devices.
Apple’s first-generation of HomePod, launched early this year, received good reviews about the sound quality. However, the speaker’s price and Siri’s lacking of intelligence become negative reasons on purchase decisions.
No matter how the new HomePod will look like, Apple will undoubtedly want to sell them more into customers’ homes.
According to Bloomberg’s source, Apple could possibly switch its HomePod production partner away from Inventec, the main manufacturer of the current model. Although Apple promised to begin shipping HomePod at the end of 2017, the product met the market in February 2018, due to manufacturing issues.