Music apps

Apple HomePod update will add third-party music apps


Third-party music services appear on a WWDC 2020 overview slide.

Screenshot by Sarah Tew / CNET

This story is part of WWDC 2021. All the latest coverage from Apple’s annual developer conference.

Although we didn’t get a new HomePod when it kicked off Monday for Apple Global Online Developer Conference, we saw a sneaky clue about smart speaker updates, especially third-party music streaming.

This was not mentioned by anyone at the conference, but a third-party services feature was visible on a slide highlighting updates to Apple’s Home platform.

A long-awaited update for users who don’t listen exclusively with Apple Music, this would allow direct streaming from HomePod for apps like Pandora or Spotify. Currently, you are limited to Apple Music or streaming music from third-party apps with AirPlay on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV, or Mac.

It is likely that this update will arrive with iOS 14, but Apple has not released an official date for the latest operating system.

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