Apple rehires former HomePod engineer to get its software back on track

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The Afroz family heads Apple’s new HomePod software

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Apple has hired Afroz Family, a former HomePod engineer, to lead the team developing the HomePod software. According to bloomberg, which could indicate a new attempt by Apple to make the HomePod more competitive. The company released HomePod software version 15 in September, which has some welcome features such as the ability to use one or a pair of HomePod Mini speakers with the Apple TV 4K as the default. But Apple’s smart speaker line faces stiff competition, especially from speakers from Amazon and Google that come equipped with their smart assistants.

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The family left Apple in 2016, where he was a senior audio engineer, co-founding the audio company Syng with ex-Apple designer Christopher Stringer. (a financial Times The article about Syng described the family as a company “secret weapon.”) Sing’s claim to fame is its Cell Alpha connected speaker, which offers spatial audio in a Death Star-like design, but comes with a $1,799 price tag. The family left Sing earlier this year, bloomberg Report.

The first HomePod, released in 2018, was praised for its sound quality, but criticized for its high price, and Apple discontinued it in March. The company released the cheaper and smaller HomePod Mini last year.

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Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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