What you need to know
- Apple is sending invites to join a HomePod Beta program.
- Program is currently invite-only, and is not a part of the developer releases today.
- The HomePod Beta follows the first watchOS Public Beta made available today.
Apple has opened up an invitation only HomePod Beta Program according to multiple reports on social media. The new Beta, which is the first for Apple's smart speaker, is not a part of the Public or Developer Beta Programs, but falls under the AppleSeed Program (opens in new tab).
Unlike the other Beta's, it appears that Apple is requiring users to stick to confidentiality agreements, which include limiting discussion to feedback, and preventing sharing potential profiles used. As with all Beta's though, Apple cautions that those invited only deploy it on non-critical hardware, and mentions backing up first, which is not possible for the HomePod.
Upcoming HomePod features announced at today's WWDC include the ability to use Apple's speaker for doorbell announcements. This feature combines with expanded facial recognition capabilities that use photo tagging to determine who is within a camera's view. This allows for custom notifications such as "Jon is ringing the doorbell".
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