iOS 11.2 beta brings SiriKit commands to Apple's unreleased HomePod

By Roger Fingas

The first iOS 11.2 beta -- launched earlier on Monday -- enables SiriKit for third-party developers working on HomePod support, according to Apple.

"Siri recognizes SiriKit requests made on HomePod and sends those requests to the user's iOS device for processing," Apple wrote on a dedicated webpage. Only commands involving SiriKit's Messaging, Lists, and Notes functions will work on a HomePod, despite the greater freedom available on iPhones and Apple Watches.

Since the speaker itself isn't set to launch until December, developers must test app compatibility by plugging headphones into an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.

The HomePod will cost $349, and take on a fresh slate of smartspeakers from Amazon, Google, and Sonos. Unlike its more platform-agnostic competition, the HomePod will likely need an iPhone or iPad to complete setup.

Apple is aiming to provide automatic configuration and tuning however, as well as HomeKit hub support and higher-quality audio. The device will have seven tweeters and a separate woofer, all with their own amplifiers.