HomePod with a built-in display leaked in tvOS 17.4 beta — is this the smart speaker update we've been waiting for?

HomePod and iPhone handoff
(Image credit: Joseph Keller / iMore)

There’s been speculation about a HomePod with a built-in display for a while now, and it looks like we could see the redesigned HomePod sooner rather than later.

According to 9to5Mac, code in tvOS 17.4 beta 3 references a new device capable of running the software “Z314.” Apple TV and HomePod both run tvOS, despite the latter lacking a user interface. In the source code, the “Z314” is powered by an A15 Bionic chip, and the code reveals there are production versions of the product in testing. 

tvOS 17.4 beta 3 also adds SwiftUI as well as hangtracerd, which is a system tool for debugging unresponsive UI — which begs the question. Why would a HomePod have need for a debug for an unresponsive UI without the addition of a screen?

We’ve heard rumblings of a HomePod with a display for months, and the idea of a HomePod merged with a small tablet like an iPad mini 6 is a very intriguing product concept. Amazon’s Echo Show and Google Nest are great examples of what a smart speaker/display combo can be, and the thought of Apple entering that market is incredibly exciting. If the product is in testing, we might not have long to wait to see a HomePod with a display in the flesh, and I’ll be right at the front of the line to grab what is sure to be the best smart speaker on the market. 

A HomePod with a screen? Why?

Imagine the possibilities of a HomePod with a built-in display. You could take FaceTime calls in the kitchen without propping up your iPhone, use Apple Music with gorgeous cover art on display at all times, and even do a quick Google search with Siri without grabbing your phone from your pocket. I’ve been an admirer of the Echo Show for a while, but I'm not a fan of Amazon’s UI, so the thought of a tvOS HomePod is something that I’d be very intrigued to see come to fruition.

More from iMore

John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.