Apple continues to work on a new mysterious "homeOS"

Cupertino, November 3, 2021

Just days before Apple's World Developers Conference last June, evidence emerged that the company was on the verge of unveiling a brand new operating system platform focused on home devices. While WWDC 2021 came and went without any mention of this, another new job post suggests that Apple is still working on it behind the scenes.

The first clue to this new project, doubled "HomeOS" appeared in a job listing for a senior iOS engineer for Apple Music, prompting speculation about what Apple might do. Many expected to hear an announcement at WWDC, but Apple instead corrected the job list to change the reference "homeOS" to simply say "HomePod", making it look like it was a little more than a blunder. from a copywriter.

This week, however, the mysterious reference "homeOS" reappeared in another list of jobs discovered by MacRumors. The post is for an engineering position similar to the Apple Music team and uses the same wording from the previous post:

You'll start working with Apple's system engineers, learning the inner workings of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and homeOS, and optimizing code for performance in ways only Apple can do.

This time, however, Apple responded much faster, removing the list of jobs in question, which was originally posted on October 12, and making sure that other similar job postings use the word "HomePod" instead.

What could be homeOS?

Although it is possible that this was just another mistake on the part of the person who managed Apple's job listings - maybe the template used in June was not actually corrected and was reused before anyone noticed - it seems quite unusual for Apple to make the same mistake twice.

Therefore, we believe that these "homeOS" references are more likely to be real, but they are something that Apple is not yet ready to make public.

In the last few years, Apple has actually lowered the profile of second-tier operating systems, such as tvOS. During the last two WWDC keynotes, tvOS was barely mentioned - if at all.

Similarly, the operating system running on the HomePod has never received an official name. Internally, it is said to be known as "audioOS", but no one from Apple has ever used the term in a public setting. Officially, it's just "HomePod Software", but it's not even talked about.

Instead, Apple kept its focus on Characteristics which are provided by the underlying software and operating systems. For example, at the last WWDC, the company unveiled several new HomePod mini and Apple TV features, but never talked about them "in a tvOS update" or a "HomePod software update"; he just said they would come to provision "later this year."

Given that Apple TV and HomePod are both device-like devices, this is somewhat understandable. It is more logical to treat hardware and software as a single integrated system than to consider them operating system updates.

However, references to homeOS suggest that Apple could you have something else up your sleeve.

So far, Apple's dining strategy could best be described as somewhat helpless. The original HomePod never took off as Apple would have liked and was finally destroyed earlier this year in favor of the HomePod mini. Apple TV has also seen only three models since it was refurbished for tvOS in 2015, each offering useful but modest upgrades.

Despite this, we continue to hear rumors that Apple has bigger plans for the home ecosystem. From hiring a new leader to reports of a hybrid HomePod and advanced Apple TV, it's clear that Apple hasn't given up on having a living in the living room - but it's just as obvious that it still hasn't figured out how to do it. .

When you look at this from the most optimistic perspective, homeOS could be Apple's attempt to build a completely new ecosystem throughout the house. He has certainly already taken some big steps in this direction. For example, HomeKit already offers one of the most capable home automation systems on the market today. This year, Apple has taken a step further, allowing Siri to run on third-party devices such as smart thermostats.

Meanwhile, the Apple TV 4K of 2021 has taken a big step to become the core of your home theater system, adding new capabilities to the original HomePod even after it was discontinued. Then there are the sensors already hidden inside the HomePod mini, which, along with the inclusion of Thread support, suggests that Apple has already equipped it for bigger things.

However, the real hope for homeOS is that it will not only be a unification of Apple's HomeKit, HomePod and Apple TV under one banner, but also a playground open for developers to come up with all sorts of other ideas and smart applications. In other words, homeOS could do for Apple's home ecosystem what iOS has done for the mobile world.

[The information provided in this article has NOT been confirmed by Apple and may be speculation. Provided details may not be factual. Take all rumors, tech or otherwise, with a grain of salt.]

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