The Alphabet subsidiary YouTube is apparently close to supporting Apple’s smart speakers from the HomePod series directly for the in-house streaming service YouTube Music. A corresponding code leak from the official app for the service has been making the rounds on X (formerly Twitter) since last week. However, it is unclear when this will be implemented. Version 6.20 of the YouTube Music application for the iPhone was released on Monday, but according to the update note it did not yet contain the innovation.
Feature available for years
Apple has allowed HomePod, HomePod 2 and HomePod mini to be connected to alternative music services for several years. This means that Apple Music will no longer be played automatically when you request a song via the voice assistant Siri. However, the streaming providers have to implement this in their apps themselves. Not every major provider has already done this; Spotify, for example, is still refusing despite great demand.
Apple offers this so-called SiriKit media function to any provider who wants it via a corresponding API. The user can quickly make the selection using the Home app. Afterwards, you no longer have to say that the respective Apple Music alternative is the required playback service – just ask about the song.
What’s in the YouTube Music app
Leak expert @aaronp613 discovered that Alphabet is preparing for the feature in the program package of the YouTube Music application. There is a graphic in it called “ytm_connect_with_homepod”. It is apparently used to establish the connection via the Home app. However, the actual feature has not yet been implemented.
The services currently available as Apple Music alternatives on the HomePod include Deezer, TuneInRadio, iHeartRadio and (US-only) Pandora. With other offers you have to take the detour iPhone and start playback there – also via Siri, by the way. The title will then be transferred to the HomePod. The easiest way to do this is to use the handoff function; all you have to do is hold the iPhone close to the speaker. Even commands like “next song” then work via Siri, without any native implementation on the part of the provider.
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