It’s been a bit of a busy years (going on a busy two years, honestly), so no one would blame you if you didn’t remember that, at one point, it was rumored that Apple could be launching a brand new operating system in 2021. Or just rebranding an existing framework. Either way, “homeOS” was all the rage for a very short period of time, and now it’s back to help stoke the rumor flame.
Here’s the quick refresher: back in June of this year, before the big, annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off, a job listing caught a lot of people’s attention. On the surface it looked like Apple was trying to find another software engineer, and they would be joining the Apple Music team. Great. Nothing too exciting there. However, actually getting into the details of the job indicated that they would be working with other engineers already knee-deep in iOS, watchOS, tvOS . . . and “homeOS.”
As you can imagine, that caused quite the dust up. Especially so close to WWDC21. Here’s how the job description initially referenced the elusive homeOS:
You’ll get to work with system engineers across Apple, learning the inner-workings of iOS, watchOS, tvOS and homeOS, and optimizing your code for performance in ways only Apple can. Come join our team and make a real difference for music lovers worldwide.
And one reference wasn’t enough:
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.
Apple did not announce homeOS at this year’s WWDC, and, basically, it disappeared from the news cycle altogether. Even the rumor mill appeared to give up on it. Until now.
As noticed by MacRumors, homeOS is being referenced by Apple yet again — and in another job listing. One was published on October 12, so not too long ago, and is for another iOS engineer working with the Apple Music team. Here’s the full job summary:
Are you passionate about Music? The Apple Music team is looking for stellar software engineers to create awesome listening experiences for our over 1 billion active users. Our team enjoys a tremendous impact — we are one of the first applications on every new Apple platform, and our app is often featured in Keynotes and in marketing materials. The experiences you enable are sure to be tweeted and blogged about all over the internet. You’ll get to work with system engineers across Apple, learning the inner-workings of iOS, watchOS, tvOS and homeOS, and optimizing your code for performance in ways only Apple can. Come join our team and make a real difference for music lovers worldwide.
At this point, Apple may just be toying with all of us. Having a bit of fun. Or. It’s more likely that homeOS is simply a go-to internal catch-all for anything related to Apple’s smart home ambitions. Which does include the HomePod mini.
Is it possible Apple is still working up towards actually announcing a brand new homeOS, which would unify its entire smart home vision? Absolutely. But, as it stands, there is not a clear indicator that that’s going to be the case anytime soon. But, hey, WWDC22 is just seven months away, maybe Apple surprises us all then.