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

Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Apple has hired a former HomePod engineer, Afrooz Family, to head up the team developing HomePod software, according to Bloomberg, which could signal a renewed effort from Apple to make the HomePod more competitive. The company released HomePod software version 15 in September, bringing some welcome features like the ability to use one or a pair of HomePod Mini speakers as the default with an Apple TV 4K. But Apple’s smart speaker line faces stiff competition, particularly from Amazon’s and Google’s speakers that are equipped with their smart assistants.

Family left Apple in 2016, where he was a senior audio engineer, to co-found audio company Syng with ex-Apple designer Christopher Stringer. (A Financial Times article about Syng…

Continue reading…