HomePod hardware uncovered in latest software leak

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HomeKit compatibility will turn the HomePod into a smart home hub.

Photo: Apple

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the HomePod speaker Apple announced at WWDC last month. But thanks to the firmware that was released to developers on Friday, we now know a little bit more about its internal hardware.

Apple clearly didn’t realize that the firmware it made available on Friday was a goldmine of secret information. Not only did it reveal the final design of the iPhone 8 and its new facial recognition technology, but it tells us stuff we didn’t know about HomePod, too.

According to new information, unearthed by Avery Magnotti, the smart speaker boasts a 340×272 pixel display that is used for Siri’s glow. You’ll be able to see it on the top of HomePod when Siri is active and listening to commands. It will also be used for controlling things like volume with touch input.

It’s possible the display will also show shapes and symbols when providing alerts or carrying out certain tasks, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Again, there’s still quite a bit we don’t know about the device, but we’ll find out more as we approach its launch this December.

Magnotti has also discovered that HomePod will carry 1GB of RAM to support its A8 processor, the same amount found in an iPhone 6. That’s a rather large amount for a speaker — Apple Watch has just 512MB of RAM — which indicates HomePod is able to handle a lot of tasks simultaneously.

We already know that HomePod is more advanced than rival smart speakers in many ways, with spatial awareness technology that tailors sound to each room for the best possible audio quality.

HomePod is powered by iOS

As we discovered from previous code digs, HomePod is powered by a full version of iOS, and offers features like VoiceOver. It has a “SoundBoard,” like Springboard on iOS, that integrates with its hardware — but there is no sign that it will support third-party apps, unfortunately.

HomePod will go on sale this December, just in time for the holidays, priced at $349.