When they first revealed the Apple HomePod smart speaker to us last June, they told us that it would ship toward the end of 2017. Then, they said that they “need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers,” bumping the release date to some time in early 2018. Now, it’s looking like the launch could be any day now. Maybe.

The last few days have revealed a couple of indications that Apple is just about ready to unleash its take on the smart speaker onto the anxiously-awaiting iPublic. First, the Apple HomePod recently received approval from the fine folks at the FCC. That indicates that, at least from a regulatory perspective, the wireless speaker is ready to go.

The second bit was spotted by Filipe Esposito of iHelp BR. He noticed that in the latest iOS 11.2.5 beta, there are several icons for different “scenes” wherein Siri is being turned off on a speaker. Like a smart speaker. Like an Apple HomePod.

Presumably, this is so that the smart speaker doesn’t interrupt you when you don’t want to be interrupted. Lines of code also seem to reference multiple voices, pointing toward possible multi-user support on the HomePod too. This would align with how both the Amazon Echo and Google Home products can support multiple users too.


Considering that (we think) one million HomePods were shipped to Apple from its supply chain last week, it’s really starting to feel like the $350 smart speaker is getting awfully close to prime time. It won’t be long before you get to play with those fancy audio tones for pairing.

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