Very recently, Apple quietly changed the way the HomePod is counted by Apple Music as a streaming device.
Since the Apple HomePod first launched, Apple Music subscribers with an individual plan have been able to stream music to the speaker while streaming something different to an iOS device at the same time. This functionality, called “parallel streaming,” 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. It appears that parallel streaming was never actually supposed to be open to Apple Music users with individual accounts — it was meant to be a feature reserved only for family plan subscribers. Apple has now removed said “glitch” so that parallel streaming is no longer available for individual accounts.
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.
“Today I discovered an issue: When I tried to listen to different music on my iPhone, while my wife was listening on the homepod in the living room, the music on the homepod stopped,” Redditor nizzlebeasy posted over the weekend (via 9to5Mac).
“If I start music on my homepod my iPhone stops and tells me that a different device is using the account. I reset my homepod last week to change the wifi, so I [thought] this might have caused the issue.
“I called Apple and the employee told me the parallel streaming would have been a bug which has been fixed, so that from now on parallel streaming on the homepod and a second device over the same apple ID is not possible.”
Apple seems to have made this server-side change very recently as most HomePod users have started complaining about this issue in the last few days.