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iOS 16.4 hints at HomePod launch in Israel with Siri in Hebrew

It’s been almost two weeks since Apple released the first beta of iOS 16.4, and the update comes packed with a lot of new features. In addition to push notifications for web apps, new emoji, and updates to the Podcasts app, iOS 16.4 hints at the launch of the HomePod in Israel with support for Siri in Hebrew.

HomePod coming to Israel with Siri in Hebrew

As noted by The Verifier, the first beta of iOS 16.4 for the HomePod silently enables the Hebrew language for Siri on Apple’s smart speaker – at least for Apple employees. Currently, Hebrew language support is only available for Apple’s virtual assistant on the iPhone and iPad, but not on the HomePod.

Based on previous software updates, Apple typically enables support for a new language in the HomePod when the company is about to launch its smart speaker in a new country. In July 2022, HomePod Software 15.6 added Norwegian and Swedish language support for Siri. In December, the HomePod mini was launched in Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

No HomePod model has ever been launched in Israel, so the update strongly suggests that Apple is working on bringing its smart speaker to the country for the first time. It’s worth noting that there are no Apple Retail Stores, or even the Apple Online Store, in Israel, so presumably, the HomePod and HomePod mini will be sold through authorized resellers there.

You can see a video of Siri in Hebrew on the HomePod below:

HomePod and the HomePod mini

Once again, the HomePod lineup has two different speakers. The HomePod mini, which was introduced in 2020, is a much smaller version of Apple’s smart speaker that was announced in 2017. The second-generation HomePod, on the other hand, is essentially the same original 2017 HomePod, but with temperature and humidity sensors, as well as a removable power cord.

Both HomePod mini and second generation HomePod feature Siri and AirPlay support. They integrate with Apple HomeKit and function as a hub for smart home accessories. In the US, the HomePod mini costs $99, while the second-generation HomePod costs $299.

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