More details on the HomePod have arrived ahead of the smart speaker's official delivery to customers and retail stores next week. Apple has primarily been showing off Siri integration with Apple Music on the HomePod. Now it seems that HomePod will also support iTunes Match, which is offered separately with a $24.99 annual subscription. iTunes Match makes it possible to scan and upload a library of up to 100,000 songs.
Once iTunes Match finishes processing your local library of music, the content can be streamed from any device with iCloud Music Library enabled. Of course, iTunes Match is already included for free with an active Apple Music subscription. The ability of Siri to access iTunes Match content adds to the appeal and utility of HomePod for fans of iCloud Music Library.
Apple has already stated that features such as HomePod stereo sound pairing and AirPlay 2 to support HomePods in multiple rooms are coming later this year. As it turns out, these updates will roll out to HomePod owners over-the-air (OTA) using the Home app. The Home app is typically used to configure and control HomeKit devices. Apple's smart speaker runs its own version of iOS, and the app will alert owners on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch when a system update for HomePod is waiting.
While some reports have indicated that some Siri functions will be missing from HomePod at launch, initial reviews of audio quality are positive. At media events in London and New York, Apple demonstrated the sound capabilities of the HomePod in hour-long listening sessions. Overall, attendees were impressed by the sound quality delivered from its small footprint, including strong bass and crisp vocals.The HomePod opened for pre-orders last week at $349 in white and space gray. Shipping and in-store pickup begins on Friday, February 9th.