iPad mini references in tvOS 17.2 beta revive 'HomePod with display' rumors

HomePod Mockup with Display

Rumour assessment   🤔 Possibly

Apple's rumored HomePod with a display could be getting closer to reality: Apple is apparently testing running tvOS on the iPad mini.

Earlier in 2023, there were rumors that Apple wanted to turn the HomePod into more than just a smart speaker by adding a seven-inch display. With the latest tvOS 17 update, it looks like Apple is still working on this concept.

While reviewing the firmware for the first tvOS 17.2 developer beta, 9to5Mac reports that the firmware includes several unusual devices in the list of compatible models. In addition to the HomePod line and some Apple TV models, there are apparently also support files, so the firmware may work on the iPad mini 6.

Similarly, support for the iPad mini 6 was found in the tvOS 17 SDK for Xcode 15. In tvOS 17 also found drivers for iPad mini for sound calibration.

Previous mentions

Apple already has a lot going for it in the smart home category with HomeKit and products like HomePod and Apple TV, which helps users set up and manage a smart home network in their home.

There have been plenty of rumors about smarter home products coming, as well as talk of a HomePod with a display that will appear several times in 2023.

Bloomberg claims that in April 2021, Apple could combine the iPad and HomePod into a smart speaker with a display. Sources said it will be able to play music like the HomePod, as well as connect to a TV and use the built-in camera for video calls.

In January 2023, Bloomberg wrote about a smart tablet that would control home devices, as well as display video and manage FaceTime chats. The concept was thought to be somewhat similar in functionality to the iPad.

By March, they were joined by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who said in March that an updated HomePod with a built-in 7-inch screen would go on sale in the first half of 2024.

In October, photos surfaced of a hardware prototype showing a large LCD touchscreen on top of the HomePod. However, while this would seem to showcase a future version of the established HomePod form rather than a smart home device, it does at least demonstrate that Apple has more ideas it wants to implement for its smart speaker.

Assessing rumors



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