Apple's HomePod could soon have YouTube Music support

Newly discovered code indicates that YouTube Music should be getting HomePod compatibility very soon

Apple HomePod mini
(Image credit: Apple)

One of the things I've long disliked about Apple's HomePod and HomePod mini is their lack of sociability: if you're all-in on Apple products then they're among the best smart speakers you can buy. But if you prefer to get your music from other song suppliers then things aren't so impressive. So I'm intrigued by the discovery of code that suggests support for YouTube Music is coming to Apple's home audio kit.

The code was discovered by software explorer @aaronp613 inside the YouTube Music app, and it suggests that HomePod compatibility is imminent. 

So what does that actually mean? The short answer is that you'll be able to play music directly from YouTube Music without having to go to the app. Instead, you'll be able to ask Siri – just like you would with Apple Music.

How YouTube Music on HomePods would work

The code is likely to use the same programming hooks already used by the likes of Pandora, Deezer, iHeart Radio and TuneIn. The hooks are called SiriKit Media Intents, and they enable you to stream directly to HomePods and HomePods mini from non-Apple apps. 

That "directly" is important, because it enables you to tell the HomePod what to play without having to do it via the streaming service's app and beam it to your speakers – which is what you currently have to do if you want to stream YouTube Music or similar services such as Spotify. So if you're a YouTube Music subscriber you'll be glad of the update whenever it actually arrives.

So far there's no sign that Spotify is thinking of doing the same, and that's a shame: Spotify is of course a really big deal, and the lack of HomePod integration is one of the reasons I finally dumped it in favour of Apple Music. Never mind direct integration; Spotify hasn't yet AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app, two years after first promising it back in 2021: the Spotify Community page asking for the feature is currently 22 pages long. It's safe to say that if you're set on using Spotify, then HomePods aren't going to be the best smart speakers for you any time soon.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).