Apple HomePod will be useless without an iOS device, audio can only be streamed to it via AirPlay

Apple’s vaunted HomePod is up for pre-order and will start shipping from 9 February in the US, UK and Australia. However, it’s only recently that Apple revealed the true capabilities of the HomePod, and the device is disturbingly limited in function.

Apple's HomePod. Reuters.

Apple's HomePod. Reuters.

The HomePod page on Apple’s website literally lists Apple services (iTunes Music, Apple Music, iCloud Music Library, Beats 1 Live Radio and Podcasts) and streaming via AirPlay as the only audio sources for the HomePod.

If you want to play back audio via an aux cable or Bluetooth, you’re out of luck. Such a severely limited listening experience restricts buyers to only those who are indelibly entrenched in Apple’s ecosystem and see no hope of ever getting out. Without an Apple device, you will be unable to stream to the HomePod.

Google’s Home Max and Amazon’s Echo speakers, in contrast, accept audio streaming via aux, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as Google Play Music and other apps.

As The Verge notes, it’s impossible to even complete the initial setup without a device running iOS 11.

Oh, and AirPlay has a hard-coded 2-second latency, making movie-watching nigh impossible on the HomePod.

Updated Date: Feb 05, 2018 11:32 AM