In an app update released yesterday, Pandora stated that users can now enjoy “Music and Podcasts on Your Apple HomePod” through Siri. To get it working, all you have to do is update the app on an iOS device, go to Profile and Settings, select “Connect to HomePod” and then select “Use in Home”. You can also add the phrase “on Pandora” when asking Siri to play music. For example: “Hey Siri, play Slowly feat. Daddy Yankee from Luis Fonsi via Pandora. ”
AirPlay 2 has been allowing you to play music from other services on HomePod for a while. The only thing you have to do is take the extra two seconds to select your speaker from the appropriate app sort by often prevents you from using Siri – which is supposedly one of the reasons you would want a HomePod in the first place. Allegedly. With this update, HomePod users can now set Pandora as their default music service. To do this, you need to tap the Home icon, select Home Settings, tap your avatar, and then tell Apple Music to touch the curb.
Currently, Pandora is the first and only third-party music service to have official HomePod support added. However, during last month’s iPhone event, Amazon Music and iHeart Radio were also highlighted as services that would be available to Apple’s smart speakers. So it wouldn’t be surprising if we learned of the Amazon Music or iHeart Radio integration sometime before or around November 6th, when pre-orders for the HomePod Mini are due to begin.
The big question is if or when Spotify is coming to the HomePod. The service was missing in Apple’s presentation in particular, although in theory the development kit is available and Spotify could decide to make itself HomePod compatible at any time. That said, Spotify has some beef with Apple too, and it took one Long Time before a Spotify app was available on Apple Watch. (You still can’t Strom Spotify for the Apple Watch, although it appears after two years that Spotify finally started testing this feature a few weeks ago.) Although the lack of streaming hasn’t slowed sales of the Apple Watch, many, many have People in the Apple Watch taken care of the early days of the watch. The lack of Spotify – even with an AirPlay 2 workaround – is likely a sore point with the HomePod as well. This is especially true when you consider that there are quite a few speakers that you have can Get Spotify, including Amazon Echo devices, the new Google Nest Audio, and the Sonos Move.
Regardless, adding third-party music services is a step in making the HomePod a more useful smart speaker. With that in mind, Apple recently also noted that the HomePod will get some new home theater features, including support for Dolby Atmos through Apple TV. If Apple could do something about Siri, that would be the icing on the cake.
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