What you need to know
- Reports are suggesting HomePod now accepts live radio requests.
- Apple announced the feature at WWDC in June.
- Reports of success in both U.S and U.K.
Reports via MacRumors are suggesting that Apple's HomePod may now be accepting requests to play live local radio stations via Siri.
At WWDC in June Apple announced the new feature, and gave a release date of September 30. As MacRumors notes that release date has been removed from the Apple website, which may suggest that the rollout of the feature has been completed.
Indeed, there now seem to be reports that users in both the U.S and the U.K. have been able to play local radio stations through HomePod. I can absolutely confirm that this piece was written to the smooth sounds of George Ezra's 'Budapest' as broadcast live by TuneIn. I asked Siri to play a "radio station", and was immediately treated to the sound of Beats 1. However, if you ask Siri to play a local radio station, this seems to be functioning. It's unclear exactly which station I am listening to currently, the station was described as "Local FM", which isn't a real broadcaster where I live. This may simply be a generic term at this stage. When "Why?" by Bronski Beat started to play I desperately tried to change to a different station, but my efforts were to no avail. As such is seems the number of stations on offer at the moment is quite limited.
HomePod users in the U.K. will not be able to listen to any BBC Radio stations, which have been removed from TuneIn's catalogue by the BBC after the U.S. firm refused to share information about its listeners with the broadcaster.
So it seems then that HomePod's local radio feature does seem to be working, at least tentatively at this stage. As mentioned previously, to get it to work you must specify that you want Siri to play a local radio station, otherwise you'll just end up with Beats 1.