Music app

Pandora becomes the first third-party music app on HomePod

Image of article titled HomePod Finally Has A Third-Party Music App, But No It's Not Spotify

Photo: Adam Clark Estes / Gizmodo

Earlier this year, Apple very subtly teased that third-party music services would come to the HomePod. Well folks, that time has come. The HomePod (and the new HomePod Mini) will now allow you to use another music service other than Apple Music. No, it’s not Spotify, it’s Pandora.

In one app update Pushed yesterday, Pandora noted that users could now enjoy “music and podcasts on your Apple HomePod” through Siri. To get it working, all you need to do is update the app on an iOS device, go to the profile, settings, select “Connect with HomePod”, then select “Use at home”. You can also add the phrase “on Pandora” when you ask Siri to play music. So for example, “Hey Siri, play Despacito feat. Papa Yankee by Luis Fonsi on Pandora.

Technically, AirPlay 2 has been allowing you to play music from other services on the HomePod for quite some time now. The only thing is that you have to take the extra two seconds to select your speaker in the appropriate app, and it sort discourages you from using Siri, which is supposed to be one of the reasons you would want a HomePod in the first place. So called. However, this update now allows HomePod users define Pandora as the default music service. To do this, you must press the “home” icon, select “home settings,“ tap on your avatar, then you can tell apple music to hit the curb.

So far, Pandora is the first and only third-party music service to add official support for HomePod. However, during last month’s iPhone event, Amazon Music and iHeart Radio have also been underlined as services that would arrive on Apple’s smart speakers. So it wouldn’t be surprising if we heard about the integration of Amazon Music or iHeart Radio sometime before or around November 11. 6, when pre-orders for the HomePod Mini are ready to begin.

The big question is whether, or when, Spotify will come to the HomePod. The service was notably absent from Apple’s presentation, although theoretically the SDK is available and Spotify could decide to make HomePod compatible whenever it wants. That said, Spotify also has beef with apple, and it took a long time before a Spotify app is available on Apple Watch. (You still can’t flux Spotify to the Apple Watch, although it seems that after two years Spotify finally started testing this ability a few weeks ago.) While the lack of streaming hasn’t slowed down Apple Watch sales is something that a lot, a lot of people complained about in the early days of the watch. The lack of Spotify, even with an AirPlay 2 workaround, is probably a sore point with the HomePod as well. This is especially true when one considers that there is a lots of speakers over there that you can get Spotify, including Amazon Echo devices, the new Google Nest Audio, and the Sonos Move.

Either way, adding third-party music services is one step in making the HomePod a more useful smart speaker. On a related note, Apple also recently noted that the HomePod will gain in popularity. new home theater features, including support for Dolby Atmos via Apple TV. Now, if Apple could do something about Siri, that would be the icing on the cake.

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