Reminder: Apple's HomePod only plays nice with Apple devices

Updated tech specs confirm that almost anything besides iTunes and Apple Music requires AirPlay from an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman

In anticipation of next Friday's release of the Apple HomePod speaker, Apple has updated some of the tech specs listed for the product on its website. The list of "Audio Sources" confirms that the HomePod sits very comfortably inside Apple's walled garden of apps and services, and isn't as friendly to outside sources as other smart home speakers.

Apple lists the supported audio sources for the HomePod as:

The key here is that, as we discovered during an early listening session, while the HomePod has Bluetooth 5.0 built in, it can't be used for music streaming. You'll need an Apple device that supports AirPlay to remotely play Spotify or other music sources (you also need an Apple device for the initial setup as well). Those other sources also won't have voice control support via the HomePod.

For a more detailed ears-on take on the HomePod, you can read about our recent listening test here.