Testers find touchscreen interface in tvOS Beta, suggesting possible development of a touchscreen HomePod

Testers find touchscreen interface in tvOS Beta, suggesting possible development of a touchscreen HomePod## Apple’s Potential Touchscreen HomePod: Transforming the Future of Smart Speakers?

Apple’s latest tvOS 18 beta 3 release has unveiled a hidden feature that’s generating considerable excitement among tech enthusiasts. The revealed touchscreen interface, codenamed “PlasterBoard,” suggests Apple is exploring new input methods for its software. This innovation could signal the debut of a touchscreen-enabled HomePod, a device speculated to be launched in 2024 or 2025. Let’s explore the potential implications for smart home devices and Apple’s market positioning.

Unearthing the Touchscreen Interface in tvOS

The recent tvOS 18 beta 3 update has exposed a concealed touchscreen interface, pointing to Apple’s intention to incorporate touch functionality into its HomePod series. This finding corresponds with earlier discoveries of a device labeled “HomeAccessory17,1” within Apple’s beta software, mirroring the nomenclature used for HomePod speakers and implying the development of a new HomePod model featuring a touchscreen.

The Driving Force: Apple’s A18 Chip

The model number “17,1” hints that the new HomePod might be equipped with Apple’s forthcoming A18 chip. This chip would provide the necessary speed and efficiency to support advanced features, including an enhanced version of Siri. The inclusion of the A18 chip suggests that Apple aims for exceptional performance, ensuring the new HomePod can handle multiple tasks effortlessly.

Why tvOS Instead of iPadOS?

Since early 2020, all HomePod speakers have been running a modified version of tvOS. This explains why HomePod-related leaks are surfacing in tvOS code. Utilizing tvOS as the foundation for a HomePod with a screen is logical, as it allows Apple to leverage its existing ecosystem and software capabilities.

Apple’s Response to the Amazon Echo Show

A touchscreen HomePod could serve as Apple’s counter to Amazon’s Echo Show. The Echo Show functions as a digital photo frame, compact TV, and general kitchen aid. If Apple pursues this approach, we might see a HomePod offering similar features but with Apple’s distinct design and ecosystem integration.

Possible Features and Applications

A version of tvOS on a tablet-like device could provide more than touch-driven interactions. Envision using a tvOS version of Safari for browsing recipes or casual reading while cooking. The screen’s form factor will significantly influence its features. Some rumors point to a circular panel replacing the swirling LEDs on current HomePods, while others suggest an “iPad-like” display.

Market Position and Pricing Strategy

The original $349 HomePod faced challenges due to its high price and limited functionality. However, a new HomePod with a touchscreen, advanced speaker capabilities, and an iPhone-grade processor could justify a higher price point. While the exact cost remains uncertain, it is likely to be positioned above the current $299 price of the full-size screen-less HomePod.


The discovery of a touchscreen interface in tvOS beta indicates thrilling advancements for Apple’s HomePod lineup. With potential features like an integrated touchscreen, robust processing power from the A18 chip, and enhanced Siri capabilities, Apple could revolutionize the smart speaker market. As we await official announcements, it’s evident that Apple is preparing to offer a more versatile and powerful smart home device.

Q&A Session

What is the significance of the “PlasterBoard” interface?

The “PlasterBoard” interface indicates that Apple is investigating new input methods for its devices, specifically integrating touch capabilities into its HomePod lineup.

What does the model identifier “HomeAccessory17,1” imply?

The model identifier “HomeAccessory17,1” suggests that Apple is developing a new HomePod model with an integrated touchscreen, potentially powered by the upcoming A18 chip.

Why is Apple using tvOS for the new HomePod instead of iPadOS?

Apple has been using a modified version of tvOS for its HomePod speakers since 2020. Utilizing tvOS allows Apple to effectively use its existing ecosystem and software capabilities.

How might a touchscreen-enabled HomePod compare to Amazon’s Echo Show?

A touchscreen-enabled HomePod could provide functionalities similar to Amazon’s Echo Show, such as a digital photo frame, compact TV, and kitchen aid, but with Apple’s distinctive design and ecosystem integration.

What features could we expect from a touchscreen-enabled HomePod?

Possible features include touch-driven interactions, browsing capabilities via a tvOS version of Safari, and enhanced Siri functionalities powered by the A18 chip.

How might the pricing of a new HomePod with a touchscreen compare to current models?

Considering its advanced features and components, the new HomePod with a touchscreen is likely to be priced higher than the existing $299 full-size screen-less HomePod.

When can we expect the new touchscreen-enabled HomePod to be released?

Rumors suggest that the new touchscreen-enabled HomePod could be released in 2024 or 2025.