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tvOS 18 beta code hints at a possible HomePod with a touchscreen interface

tvOS 18 beta code hints at a possible HomePod with a touchscreen interface

While various rumors have emerged about Apple TV and HomePod devices with touch screens, a series of newly discovered code references in the tvOS 18 beta version point to a unique feature coming to HomePod.

tvOS 18 beta 3 has been rumored to feature a unique touchscreen interface embedded within it, and the finding is actually relevant to the ‌HomePod‌, as the ‌HomePod‌’s software is a spin-off of the tvOS software. The interface is known internally as “PlasterBoard,” and is in line with the naming of other Apple interfaces, such as SpringBoard for iOS and iPadOS, PineBoard for tvOS, SoundBoard for ‌HomePod‌, and SurfBoard for visionOS. The interface currently only appears to feature a Lock Screen with a touch-based keyboard for entering passwords, and not much else has been discovered about it.

There’s currently no option to lock Apple TV with a passcode, and HomePod currently only supports simple gestures. The design referenced in the beta looks a lot like the familiar on-screen keypad you’d find on an iPhone or iPad.

Apple is rumored to be working on several home controllers, with multiple development paths and prototypes under consideration. Additional rumors have also emerged about a simple ‌HomePod‌ with a touchscreen on top, a hybrid ‌HomePod‌ with a camera, an Apple TV device, a ‌HomePod‌ with a screen and camera, and an iPad/HomePod-like combination that acts as a central home hub.

Perhaps one of the most interesting rumors has focused on a standard ‌HomePod‌ with an LED touch-based display on the top of the device, potentially being the first HomePod and display combination. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said that a HomePod with a 7-inch display could be released at some point in 2024, and prototype images have leaked.

A recent reference to a “Home Accessory” device with the identifier HomeAccessory17,1 has also been found. No current ‌HomePod‌ or ‌Apple TV‌ devices use the HomeAccessory identifier, but it does appear to be similar to the AudioAccessory identifier that Apple uses internally for the ‌HomePod‌. Given the numbering, it’s also believed that this device could feature the same A18 chip that’s thought to be available for every model of the upcoming iPhone 16 series.

Stay tuned as more details become available.

Through MacRumors And 9to5Mac