That's because iOS 17 will allow non-HomePod apps to automatically send their audio to any HomePod on the same Wi-Fi network using nothing more than the power of Siri.
What's more, Apple says that developers won't need to do any extra work for this to happen — all apps that already support SiriKit Media will work just fine right out of the gate.
Apple confirmed the news as part of a larger developer session that discussed how apps could be integrated with the HomePod.
According to that video, people will be able to ask their HomePod to play audio from an app on their iPhone using Siri. Assuming the app supports SiriKit, the audio should begin to play via AirPlay automatically.
Apple goes on to say that the HomePod and iPhone do not need to be in close proximity for this new feature to work, but they will need to be on the same Wi-Fi connection at the time of the request. Apple's example has an iPhone on charge in a bedroom while a HomePod in the living room plays audio without issue.
The HomePod is of course one of the best HomeKit speakers around, although there are others. But you'll need a HomePod with Siri support for any of this to work. You'll also need iOS 17 and an iPhone, with Apple's next big software update expected to be released to the public in or around September.
That's also when we expect the iPhone 15 lineup to be announced, too. As for compatible HomePods, we have to assume that the HomePod 2 and HomePod mini will be good to go, while it's likely the original HomePod will also work just fine.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.