Apple is reportedly planning to make an iPad cradle with a built-in speaker. It will function as a HomePod smart speaker, and when a tablet is placed in it will become a smartphone hub with a touchscreen.
The company also allegedly continues work on a single device that will perform the same task.
A marriage of iPad and HomePod
Apple’s HomeKit is a home-automation system that lets users control smart switches, smart bulbs, etc., from iPhone, iPad, Mac and Siri. HomePods are designed to act as hubs for a smart home, but can only be controlled with via voice commands. Rival companies offer home hubs with screens, providing additional control options.
One of Apple’s answers to these will be a smart hub and speaker that acts as a cradle for an iPad, according to Bloomberg. This would allow users to control their HomeKit accessories from a touchscreen. The screen would also be convenient when setting up music to play through the dock’s speaker. And it can be used for video conferencing.
No hardware details are available at this time, though the cradle could launch “as soon as 2023,” according to Bloomberg. There’s no word on a price.
Two more home-automation options
Reports that Apple is also working on a separate smart home hub with a built-in display has been around for well over a year. “The idea is to offer something that users can place on a kitchen counter, in the living room or on their nightstand,” notes Bloomberg.
It would directly take on the Amazon Echo Show, except for HomeKit instead of Alexa.
Apparently, Cupertino intends to introduce both smart home products: one smart speaker with an integrated screen and another that acts as a iPad cradle.
Apple is also supposedly developing HomePod 2: a larger smart speaker expected to provide better audio performance than the current HomePod mini.