Apple has an ecosystem of products, where each product has its own operating system. On iPhone, iOS. On Apple Watch, watchOS. On Mac, Mac. On Apple TV, tvOS. And on the iPad, iPadOS. However, there is now a new “crossover” between Apple TV and iPad, where the latest generation iPad mini is compatible with the Apple TV box’s operating system. Here we tell you why.
To the product equation, we must add one more: the HomePod. Apple’s smart speaker ecosystem is getting a refresh once again, after introducing the second generation after a period of silence. However, how similar are the HomePod, iPad mini and Apple TV?
There are not three products, just one
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, he sold it to us as an Internet browser, a music player, and a phone. All this wrapped in the same device. In this case, Apple started by integrating the iPad mini and Apple TV, later integrating it with the HomePod.
Therefore, we are not talking about a multimedia device with which you can control connected accessories, nor a tablet, nor a separate speaker. We’re talking about a HomePod that will include a displaywhose software is intended to be tvOS, given the complicity that HomePods and Apple TV currently have.
Why iPad mini? The reason is simple: the size of the screen makes it ideal for the tactile and visual interface we’d get in a smart speaker, just as it does in other competing products like the Google Nest Hub or Amazon Echo Show.
Apple has modified the iPad
In order for the iPad to run tvOS, it has been pre-modified by the company. It’s not a device we’ll see officially on sale, but rather a test modification.
As English-language news outlet 9to5Mac explained, “Every firmware released by Apple includes support files for different computers, which indicate which devices the said system can be installed on.”
“We’ve discovered that the tvOS 17 SDK, which ships with Xcode 15, also includes hidden support for the iPad mini 6,” they explain. Therefore, taking into account the internal performance of Apple’s various operating systems, it indicates that the system installed on Apple TV is compatible with the latest generation iPad mini 6.
Several voices indicate the path Apple will take
Likewise, they also reported that both Bloomberg analysts Mark Gurman and Ming-Chi Kuo have in the past announced active development of a “smart device that combines HomePod and Apple TV into one.”
“Apple engineers will decide to run tvOS on the iPad mini to explore how the interface works on a product of this type,” they explained. Combined with the tvOS 17.2 redesign, the iPad tweaks and the passage of enough time, everything seems to indicate that it won’t be long until we see a HomePod with an integrated display.
In this way, we will have a new type of device that will help us control our home, also thanks to the virtual assistant Siri. In addition, the presence of touch controls on the screen with which we can act directly would make it easier for us to navigate the virtual environment, as well as greater autonomy when controlling the different parameters of the HomePod.
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