Ever since the Apple HomePod first launched, Apple Music subscribers with an individual plan have been able to stream music to it while streaming something different to an iOS device. This functionality was particularly handy, as it meant that you could listen to music on an iPhone while out and about as someone else used the same Apple ID to stream different music on Apple’s smart speaker at home. As it turns out, that functionality wasn’t intended by Apple.
Yes, it seems that Apple actually intended for HomePod to count against Apple Music’s streaming limit, but a bug prevented that from happening. That bug was recently fixed, and a number of HomePod users are upset about the change.
Over the past couple of days, a number of threads lamenting this disappearing feature have appeared on the HomePod subreddit. At first, there was confusion about the change, because for months it’s appeared that “parallel streaming” – as some users call it – was planned functionality on the part of Apple. Those who reached out to customer service, however, were told that in reality it was simply a bug and that things are now working as originally intended.
That, of course, is bad news for anyone who owns both an iPhone and HomePod and is subscribed to Apple Music with an individual account. As you’re limited to just one stream with an individual account, attempting to start a music stream on an iPhone while at the same time streaming to a HomePod will cause the HomePod’s music to pause.
If you want to have distinct streams going on both an iOS device and a HomePod that share an Apple ID, you’ll now need to shell out for an Apple Music family plan, which costs $14.99 per month. Obviously, HomePod owners are pretty disappointed by this change, as it now means they need to pay more money for a “feature” they had access to just a few days ago. Despite whatever outrage there may be, it seems unlikely that Apple will revert the changes, but we’ll keep an eye out for further developments nevertheless.