Apple is testing running tvOS on an iPad so is a HomePod with a screen coming soon?

The HomePod doesn't have a display yet, but Apple is reportedly testing running tvOS 17 on an iPad which could lead to a smart speaker with a screen.

1 minute & 10 seconds read time

If you've ever looked at Apple's HomePod and thought that it would be way better if it had a display, you very much aren't alone. In fact, it now appears that even Apple would agree that its smart speaker should have a way to view content - because a new report claims that it's already testing one.

The report says that Apple is testing running the tvOS software on an iPad mini in an attempt to fathom how it would work on a touchscreen, something that is likely more complicated than just installing tvOS and leaving it to do its thing.

This report comes after 9to5Mac spotted that the latest tvOS 17.2 beta includes support for the iPad mini 6, a device that has no official reason for being listed. However, it's thought that Apple added support so that it can continue to test the latest version of tvOS on an iPad mini in an attempt to help develop a future HomePod with a display attached.

9to5Mac also notes that there is more to this, too. The latest Xcode 15 release also includes the tvOS 17 SDK for building apps and, once again, tvOS 17 frameworks include calibration data for the iPad mini - something that, again, there is little use for. Not officially, at least.

We've heard rumors that Apple wants to bring a display to the HomePod before but it has so far not happened. It's also important to remember that just because Apple is testing something, that doesn't necessarily mean that it will ever ship it. However, this discovery does suggest that Apple is means business with this round of testing, although it's impossible to guess when we might see these tests bear fruit.

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Based in the UK, Oliver has been writing about technology, entertainment, and games for more than a decade. If there's something with a battery or a plug, he's interested. After spending too much money building gaming PCs, Oliver switched to Apple and the Mac - and now spends too much on those instead.

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