Apple teases homeOS — is a new smart home platform on the way?

Apple HomePod mini
(Image credit: Future)

Scant days before WWDC 2021, an Apple job listing references a potentially new homeOS operating system. If true, that could mean a new way of interacting with smart home devices through Apple's HomeKit platform.

The job listing, which has since been changed, was noticed by Javier Lacort, who posted a screenshot of it to Twitter. In it, the term "homeOS" is mentioned twice. 

The original post read in part "You'll get to work with system engineers across Apple, learning the inner-workings of iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and homeOS, and optimizing the code for performance in ways only Apple can."

"The Apple Music Frameworks team owns the technology stack that enables the system-integrated Apple Music experience on all of our mobile platforms: iOS, watchOS, and homeOS."

Later, the first homeOS was changed to "HomePod," and the second to "tvOS." 

There's been much speculation on where Apple plans to take its smart home platform; in recent years, the company launched the $99 HomePod Mini, but discontinued the $249 HomePod. And, while there have been incremental improvements to HomeKit, it hasn't progressed as rapidly as Amazon Alexa and Google Home. 

That could be changing soon, as Apple could be working on a combined HomePod/AppleTV device with a camera for video calls, according to one Bloomberg report

Given that Apple recently released an all new Apple TV 4K — with a much better remote — there's a chance the company could be developing a smart display, more along the lines of the Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub Max. A new OS would also make sense here, as its use case would be different from an Apple TV.

Considering that WWDC is Monday, June 7, we expect to learn a lot more soon. Here's how you can watch the WWDC 2021 keynote.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.