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HomePod Gaining New 'Ambient Sounds' Siri Feature This Fall, Radio Station Support Launching September 30

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple this week quietly updated the HomePod's product page on Apple.com, including a few release dates for upcoming features (via 9to5Mac). HomePod will gain the ability to tune into live radio stations through Siri controls on September 30, after this feature was first announced at WWDC in June (and made available to some users in Germany this July).


Additional HomePod features, including multi-user support and music handoff, will not launch until "later this fall." With iOS 13, Siri on HomePod can recognize the voices of different HomePod users, queuing up each person's favorite music on the speaker. Handoff lets any media you have playing on your iPhone or iPad be handed off to the HomePod.

One new feature has also been added to the HomePod page on Apple.com, called "Ambient Sounds." Apple says that you'll be able to relax to sounds like ocean waves, forest birds, rainstorms, and more with this feature, also coming in the fall.


It sounds like the company is working on making ambient noise a big new feature of the HomePod, after being requested by users since the speaker launched in early 2018. Although Apple Music has a multitude of ambient noise playlists, this should make it even easier to start playing relaxing sounds on HomePod.

There have been numerous announcements from Apple this week thanks to the iPhone event yesterday, including the all new iPhone 11 family, the new 10.2-inch iPad, and Apple Watch Series 5.

Article Link: HomePod Gaining New 'Ambient Sounds' Siri Feature This Fall, Radio Station Support Launching September 30
 

Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,625
1,318
Apple pushing back even more software releases and features at the last minute. What is going on over there?
 
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scamper

macrumors newbie
Aug 15, 2006
5
20
I’m sure I’m an outlier, but I use HomePod for ambient sounds as much as for anything else. When I’m writing and want to block out the neighbors, nothing (at the moment) beats “Hey Siri, play ‘Brown Noise without fade,’ on repeat.” (“Without fade” to differentiate this “song” from a competing one that has an annoying fade out at the end.) It’s a warm, lush sound, thanks to HomePod’s excellent bass response, that insulates me from the world.

So I’m definitely looking forward to “native” sounds!
 
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ceriess

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2003
85
72
I just said "Hey Siri, play WBAB" (my old Long Island rock station) and it came right up. Says it is provided by TuneIn. I can also just ask it for Nature sounds and it does that too.
 
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Jaro65

macrumors 68040
Mar 27, 2009
3,741
700
Seattle, WA
Hmm, nice. Though not sure how built-in sounds are any better than using an ambient sound app like Relax Melodies.
 
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DaveTheRave

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2003
619
189
I can’t believe radio station streaming wasn’t one of the original features. That’s one of my main uses for my Echo speaker - listening to live NPR news.
 
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H3LL5P4WN

macrumors 68030
Jun 19, 2010
2,669
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Pittsburgh PA
I'm actually pretty excited to see whats on tap for ambient sounds. I might have to pick up another pair to put in the bedrom if they're that good.

I can’t believe radio station streaming wasn’t one of the original features. That’s one of my main uses for my Echo speaker - listening to live NPR news.

The main use for your Echo speaker is for Amazon to listen to everything you say and do.
 
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Well, raise my rent and call me a seven-letter word or hyphenate if you must. I thought my HomePod(s) already did this. When I say 'Hey Siri' play soft rock everywhere, it just works. Not sure I would sign-up for another monthly subscription to tweak it. I suppose the talk radio option would allow me to kill more time.
 
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Laptopdog78

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2014
78
80
Radio station feature!!!
Good god I have been a long time apple fan, but I have truly started to get frustrated with them myself. I have various Sonos smart speakers and I can play any radio station, can play from practically any music streaming service, including my favourite Spotify. I can use my choice of voice assistants. My choice is Alexa, and here is the killer..... I can use Apple airplay 2 for all the content from my iPhone, and stream Apple Music if I ever wished to. And before anyone starts about sound quality, they are absolutely superb. Apple get a Grip, I wouldn’t touch your HomePod as it is in a million years!!
 
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LordVic

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2011
5,561
12,094
Apple pushing back even more software releases and features at the last minute. What is going on over there?

Directionless leadership whose sole focus is on profit margins and not really capable of leading teams to get their work done in good manner.

Likely, also seeing cuts to staffing of many teams due to maximization of profit in part due to a downturn in the volume of sales declines that Apple has seen over the last year.

Lower priority items, especially ones with no direct revenue will likely slow down in favour of the "quick buck" products.

adding ambient sounds doesn't really sell devices. it's a great value added featureset, but its not likely that HomePod sales (especially at it's price point) is going ot be driven by this feature addition. Hence, it's priority is lowered.
 
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840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,210
3,499
Twin Cities Minnesota
Apple pushing back even more software releases and features at the last minute. What is going on over there?
Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Release too early and we don't forgive them for software issues and security flaws. Delayed, we give them vitriol over having to wait for new features and advancements.

I am glad to see them slow down with some of the mass releases in hopes they kill bugs before they impact our devices.
 
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Bryan Bowler

macrumors 68040
Sep 27, 2008
3,867
3,828
I keep hearing about all of these "new features" with Siri, yet she cannot do even the most basic tasks correctly. Is Tim Cook living in a fantasy world?
 
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Mascots

macrumors 68000
Sep 5, 2009
1,625
1,318
Damned if they do, damned if they don't. Release too early and we don't forgive them for software issues and security flaws. Delayed, we give them vitriol over having to wait for new features and advancements.

I am glad to see them slow down with some of the mass releases in hopes they kill bugs before they impact our devices.

My issue has nothing to do with releasing features to products over time or taking their time to do so – my issue is that Apple has been delaying, last minute, many iOS 13 features in a fashion that's not consistent with previous history. "Release too early and unpolished" is a lot different than "Missing the original time table for announced features and delaying them".

If Apple had said, in June or any time leading up to the event, that HomePod features wouldn't be released until late fall, my comment wouldn't have been posted.
 
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[AUT] Thomas

macrumors 6502a
Mar 13, 2016
641
772
Graz [Austria]
How about 3rd party apps (“skills” in Amazon-speak) for the HomePod? So we can install Spotify and other stuff directly on it rather than using a work around like Airplay. Without that I don’t see it taking off anytime soon...

Either sell something “cheap” and make money with the service (in that case Apple Music) or sell it expensive but then it needs to be a more versatile. Apple is increasingly trying to make money off customers who already spent a fortune on their hardware...

EDIT: We also need to keep in mind that 30$ AudioCast will turn any device with an AUX in port into an AirPlay receiver and that hing can also stream internet radio. As such, delivering the HomePod without internet radio in first place was a joke...
 
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kissmo

Cancelled
Jun 29, 2011
1,062
1,053
Budapest, Hungary
This year os the SW that took the lead at Apple.
At least iPad OS and the homepod moved ahead.

The ambient sounds are a cool thing and I look forward when syncing with philips hue :)
 
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Tyler9627

macrumors newbie
Apr 20, 2013
8
6
CT, USA
All these new features are cool, but why haven’t we received a sleep timer yet?
Same, I can't believe it doesn't have a sleep timer. I once tried, and she said "Sure, 30 minute sleep timer set!" Then, 30 minutes later I was awoken with a loud alarm!

Speaking of alarms, how does it not have music alarms? Like, seriously Apple? You must have a way of setting the alarm to wake to a specific song!
 
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