According to a report from MacRumors, the select group of beta testers for this fall’s HomePod release have noticed something sort of remarkable: the ability to choose a music, podcasts, and audiobooks service other than Apple Music.
Apple does not conduct public or developer beta tests of HomePod software, but rather issues betas through a select group of AppleSeed members. HomePod software is otherwise updated along with the iOS software on the iPhone from which it was set up.
According to testers, the HomePod options screen in this new beta adds the ability to select the default service for Music, Podcasts, and Audiobooks. It defaults to Apple Music, but would presumably let users choose Spotify, Amazon Music, or other competing services (those services need to implement this support, and none have done so yet).
It appears that the default service can be selected per user, which is great. But there’s only one selection, which is less than ideal. Some users may use Spotify for music, Apple Podcasts for podcasts, and Audible for audiobooks, for example. The current beta setup does not appear to allow for that sort of multi-service configuration.