HomePod to support third-party music streaming services with iOS 14 update

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Glossed over during Apple's WWDC keynote on Monday, HomePod is officially gaining support for third-party music streaming services in a future update.

While not mentioned during today's keynote address, a presentation slide discussing future Home app features reveals Apple's plans to allow third-party music service integration on HomePod. The smart speaker has been locked to Apple Music since it launched in early 2018.

Details of the upcoming feature have not been fleshed out, though more information is expected to surface as WWDC continues this week.

It can be speculated that Apple will allow vetted third-party services like Spotify and Pandora to take the place of Apple Music as HomePod's default music player. Alternatively, users might be required to specify which service they would like to tap into. An example trigger phrase could be, "Hey Siri, play my favorites on Spotify."

Reports earlier this year claimed Apple was considering limited third-party replacement of default first-party services like Apple Music, as well as apps including Mail and Safari. The latter was confirmed today, with Apple set to grant users the ability to set default email clients and web browsers in iOS 14.

Unlike iOS, which is relatively customizable in terms of app installs and affordances, Apple has kept HomePod locked down. The upcoming third-party music streaming feature is a sign that the company is slowly relaxing its policies for the smart home speaker.

 
 

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