Apple’s range of smart speakers stands out for their incredible sound and sophisticated design. The computers, however, do not offer such smart features as the Amazon Echo or Google Nest. Apple is aware of this, and tries to return the course to these devices with a new signing for fill the vacancy responsible for overseeing the HomePod software, which was released after the departure of Jason Harrison at the end of 2020.
Afrooz Family will be the new head of software for HomePod, according to what has been learned Bloomberg. Family already worked at Apple in 2012, and was one of the engineers in charge of the development of the first smart speaker of the Cupertino, the original HomePod. He left the company in 2016 to co-found Syng, a startup premium audio highlighted by a sleek and powerful speaker with audio triphonic, a kind of surround sound similar to spatial audio.
Apple, for the moment, has not wanted to confirm the new addition of Family to the HomePod team. However, it is clear that with this signing the company intends to solve one of the biggest problems: make your smart speaker really smart at the software level.
Apple wants the HomePods to compete with the Amazon Echo, but not only in sound
The HomePods have always stood out for their excellent sound quality. The first speaker, announced in 2018 – and discontinued in 2021 – offered impressive audio quality. Its price, however, was very high and its sales were unsuccessful. In 2020, Apple released a ‘mini’ version of its original HomePod. This time, with a much more competitive price of 99 euros, and maintaining an excellent sound. Nevertheless, software is still one of the biggest problems that the Apple team faces.
Currently, the HomePods maintain very interesting features, such as the possibility of transmitting music by bringing the iPhone closer to the speaker or the Intercom mode to communicate with other Apple speakers in the home. The updates, however, offer little news, while Amazon includes increasingly advanced features and Google is committed to constantly improving its smart assistant. Therefore, the incorporation of Family will serve to develop new solutions at the software level that allow Apple to compete against its big rivals.
In parallel, Bloomberg announced a few months ago that Apple was working on a new multimedia device. This, planned for 2023, will bring together the HomePod and Apple TV capabilities, also including a FaceTime camera for video calls at home. Afrooz Family is most likely involved in this project as well.