Podcasts strike at HomePod: Update should help

Apple put a bug fix update for its Siri speakers of the HomePod series online on Wednesday evening. The update listens to the version number HomePod OS 15.1.1 and fixes an annoying bug in connection with the playback of podcasts and some radio stations.

After installing HomePod OS 15.1, which was released together with macOS 12.0.1 on October 25, the Siri voice assistant no longer responded in certain cases. If you asked the system to play a podcast, you received the usual confirmation that this was happening – but absolutely nothing was played back. The same applied to various radio stations that reached the HomePod via Apple’s podcasts directory. The problem that affected both the (now discontinued) HomePod and the HomePod mini was apparently not one that Apple could fix on the server side – hence the update.

Apple did not provide any information on possible further improvements in the new firmware; HomePod OS 15.1.1 is not yet available either on Apple’s information page about security vulnerabilities listed. HomePod OS 15.1 brought support for Lossless Audio, Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio for the HomePod; however, the HomePod mini didn’t get spatial audio. The mini has also recently been available in certain regions – including Germany – in addition to white and space gray in three new colors (yellow, blue, orange – all similar to the iMac M1). The price remains at 100 euros.

Apple, meanwhile, appears to be preparing to expand the HomePod OS. In a job advertisement popped up once more the term “homeOS” as an operating system that the group does not currently offer. This name had already been used in the summer – whether Apple means an extended HomePod OS or a significantly expanded operating system for home devices remains to be seen. There are rumors that the group could plan a combination of HomePod speakers and FaceTime station for communication. Similar devices are available from Facebook and Amazon.

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