An update to the popular music and podcast streaming app adds support for Apple’s smart speaker.

The Apple HomePod smart speaker was supposed to be Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. However, poor integration and limited third-party app support has left many users wanting more.


This looks to be changing, as Pandora is adding official support for the HomePod to its music and podcast streaming app.

Full Pandora Integration for HomePod Owners, Finally

The change is a subtle one, but the latest update to the Pandora iOS app adds a new menu item. Under Settings, there is an option to Connect with HomePod. After granting permissions, the Pandora app and HomePod link, and the streaming service is accessible via voice commands.

Apple has also added the ability to change the default music service for the HomePod, allowing Pandora to be the primary service. This cuts out the need to refer to Pandora directly, though if you prefer to keep Apple Music as your primary music streaming service, you can access Pandora using Siri voice commands:

“Hey Siri, play Classic Soul BBQ Radio on Pandora.”

To change the default music player, select your profile under the Home Settings menu of the iOS Home app.

At present, there is no mention of HomePod integration into the Android version of the Pandora app, but this isn’t all that surprising given that Pandora has worked natively with Google smart speakers for several years.

The First of Many New HomePod Integrations?

The addition of Pandora isn’t too much of a surprise, as it was used as an example at the same event where Apple revealed the budget-friendly HomePod mini. The same event showcased Amazon Music working with HomePod, so official integration is likely to be right around the corner.

There’s no information on who else might be adding integration soon, but it’s safe to assume that most large content providers will want to have their apps working natively with Apple’s range of smart speakers.

The End of HomePod Workarounds?

The Pandora integration will be a welcome change for users of the Apple HomePod. There have always been ways to get third-party apps working using Airplay, but it’s a workaround and never worked as seamlessly as simple commands to Alexa- or Google Assistant-equipped smart speakers.

It seems that the integration features in the latest Pandora iOS app update are part of a software development kit designed to give all developers access to HomePod integration. Which suggests that a lot more apps will likely be adding HomePod support in the near future.

This seems to be a long-awaited change of direction for Apple’s policy on integrating with third-party apps and services. And while the HomePod is still behind the pack, it is catching up.

Apple HomePod smart speaker

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