It appears Apple is continuing their effort to simplify device and accessory pairing, as their internet-connected HomePod speaker – due to be released later this year – will be able to automatically pair to an iPhone via a tone generated by the speaker.
One thing I missed about the HomePod setup: it can be done without manually typing the passcode, through audio. pic.twitter.com/GpCl5UY3az
— Guilherme Rambo (@_inside) September 2, 2017
A screenshot buried in Apple’s latest iOS 11 beta release, discovered by developer Guilherme Rambo on Saturday, hints at the forthcoming HomePod feature.
Other connected accessories from Apple, such as the Apple Watch, and the wireless AirPods earbuds, also offer quick pairing methods. The Apple Watch uses an image-based “particle cloud” method of visual pairing via an iPhone’s camera. The AirPods use an exclusive “W1” chip in the earpods to automatically pair with an iPhone.
In addition, it appears the HomePod can also be paired to an iOS 11 device via a four-digit authentication/pairing code. The iOS device will then handle the rest of the setup process, connecting the speaker to the user’s Apple ID, Apple Music, iCloud, and more.
Apple’s internet-connected speaker debuted at the Cupertino firm’s Worldwide Developer Conference last June. The Amazon Echo and Google Home competitor is scheduled for a December release.
According to the Apple announcement, the HomePod will cost $349. As compared to combining smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Assistant with quality sound speaker such as Sonos or Bose, the price point seems competitive.