Apple HomePod speaker with a built-in display surfaces in tvOS 17.4 beta 3

Apple HomePod speaker with a built-in display surfaces in tvOS 17.4 beta 3
What do you get when you combine an iPad with a HomePod? It appears that we are about to find out as 9to5Mac says that it has seen references to an unreleased Apple device with a screen in the recently released third tvOS 17.4 developer beta. There has been speculation about Apple offering a new HomePod smart speaker equipped with a 7-inch screen.

Inside Apple, the company has reportedly been tinkering by running tvOS on a modified iPad mini to test how a HomePod with a built-in display would work. The code in tvOS 17.4 beta 3 shows the existence of a new device with the code number "Z314" that would run tvOS. Both Apple TV and HomePod run on tvOS although the version used by the smart speaker obviously does not include a UI.

The HomePod with a built-in display is powered by an A15 Bionic application processor (AP) according to 9to5Mac which happens to be the same AP under the hood of the iPad mini 6. The code also reveals that Apple has built a production version of the device. Apple also added a system tool to the HomePod version of tvOS that removes bugs from unresponsive UIs. The only reason that the HomePod would need such a tool would be due to a built-in screen.

With Apple using an iPad mini 6 to test the screen-equipped HomePod, the tech giant might be considering an 8-inch display for the new device, or at least something in that vicinity. You might recall that last March, TF International's reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that a HomePod with a 7-inch display could be released during the first half of this year.

Apple is also working on a HomePod with a touchscreen LCD display on the top of the device. That model is expected to replace the HomePod 2 at some point.

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