Released today, the first beta of iOS 11.2 includes SiriKit for developers to use with HomePod1
Like with any smart speaker, uses can request information from the virtual assistant that is attached to the device. Of course, with the HomePod, that means that it will be up to Siri to tell users about the latest news, sports scores and the weather. Siri will also be used to control smart appliances inside the home, request a ride, make a shopping list and more. Developers can use SiriKit to allow their third party iOS apps for Messaging, Lists, and Notes to work with HomePod. Users would activate Siri and read a message, make a list or create a note. All of the processing would be done through an iOS device paired to the HomePod.
The HomePod features a premium speaker with a 4-inch woofer, seven tweeters and six microphones that are said to detect your voice even if you're playing loud music. And of course, there is Siri. The device will go on sale in December, priced at $349.
The smart speaker category was created by Amazon, which went commercial with the Echo in 2015. The virtual assistant devised by Amazon for the product, Alexa, has had a breakout year in 2017 and several tech companies now produce, or are planning to produce, a similar device. Those firms include Microsoft, Sony and Samsung.