Apple is reportedly testing tvOS 17 running on an iPad mini 6 in an attempt to test whether it could be used as a HomePod with a screen.
That’s according to a 9to5Mac report which claims that there are signs in the latest tvOS 17.2 beta that shows Apple is internally testing the new software on an iPad.
The update has support for the Apple TV built in, as you’d expect, but there are also support files for the iPad mini 6 which suggests that testing is underway. The report says that there are other reasons to believe Apple is testing the Apple TV’s software on an iPad.
But that’s not all. Searching further, we discovered that the tvOS 17 SDK, which comes with Xcode 15, also includes hidden support for the iPad mini 6. To add fuel to the fire, some of the tvOS 17 frameworks that contain audio calibration data for every device supported by this operating system have also been updated with drivers for the iPad mini.
There have been rumors of Apple working on a HomePod with a display built in for some time now, and it seems increasingly likely that there is testing going on inside Apple.
However, just because Apple is testing something that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will launch. That being said, the fact that Apple is requires the iPad mini to be supported by the latest tvOS beta suggests things are more advanced than simply seeing what does and doesn’t work.