Apple is launching its first smart speaker, the HomePod, at the end of the week. And, at some point in the future, its original TV programming is finally going to launch in front of waiting eyeballs.
Apple’s iTunes leader, Eddy Cue, took some time out of his busy schedule to stop by the 2018 Pollstar Live event, hosted by Variety, and, during his time on stage, he touched on a few different topics. Namely, the upcoming HomePod launch and the company’s original TV programming efforts. Unfortunately in the case of the latter, while he does tease something being announced in the future, there weren’t a lot of details he was ready to discuss.
In terms of the HomePod, though, Cue did reveal something interesting. The smart speaker’s settings will be controlled through the built-in Home app on iOS devices, and while some might have expected that means owners of the smart speaker could fine tune the speaker based on what they are listening to, that’s not going to be the case.
As posted to Twitter by Patrick Ryan, Cue confirmed that the HomePod’s own analytics, artificial intelligence algorithms, and the A8 processor will work to automatically alter the treble, base, and other facets to offer the best possible listening experience — based in real-time and what the user is currently listening to. Owners won’t be able to change these details on their own.
Meanwhile, Cue was of course asked about the upcoming slate of original TV programming that Apple has been working on, which includes a drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston, and seven other confirmed projects at this point. Cue wouldn’t offer anything substantial, but he did say that Apple will have something to announce “a little bit of time” as far as that subject is concerned.
While Apple has inked some major deals for its push into original TV programming, there has not been any indicators when that content is actually going to launch, or even how Apple plans to distribute it. There had been rumors that Apple would use Apple Music (and its built-in monthly subscription) to gate off the content, but that may no longer be the case.
The fact that the HomePod automatically tunes itself based on what the person is listening to is kind of crazy, especially since it happens on the fly. There has never been any doubt that Apple shoved a lot of technology into the HomePod package, and based on the reviews for the company’s first smart speaker, the results are phenomenal.
As for the original TV programming, Apple is certainly playing this close to the vest, but most of these shows have top-tier talent working on them, so the expectations are pretty high. It will be interesting to see how Apple distributes it.