Apple HomePod set to get ‘Ambient Sounds’ mode this autumn


Apple’s HomePod smart speaker didn’t get much of a look-in at the company’s press event earlier this week, which focused more on iPhones, iPads, watches and the company’s new video-streaming and games subscription services.

But Apple has quietly updated its HomePod product page to remind owners of a pair of new features coming to the device this autumn – and a third that hasn’t (as far as Music Ally is aware) been previously announced.

The two already-revealed features are multi-user support, so that the HomePod can recognise different voices in a family and thus play music based on their profiles, and live streaming of more than 100k radio stations via integrations with iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Radio·com.

The new feature is intriguing though: “Relax with Ambient Sounds — featuring the soothing sounds of ocean waves, forest birds, rainstorms, and more.”

That’s all that Apple has announced so far: it hasn’t said where those sounds have been sourced from. But it’s an interesting move, given the popularity of peaceful-piano-style mood playlists (one of Apple Music’s prominent ones is a partnership with Universal Music) as well as meditation / mindfulness playlists and apps.

Stuart Dredge

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