Apple’s HomePod might not be the most feature-packed smart speaker out there, and it might not be selling as well as Apple might have hoped, but the company does keep improving the HomePod via software updates. The upcoming HomePod OS 12 is looking promising based on the private betaand is poised to bring some interesting new features to the Siri-powered smart speaker.
The update to the HomePod’s software is expected to hit this fall alongside iOS 12, but some Apple corporate and retail employees have reportedly had a look at what’s new for the HomePod, French site iGeneration reports. Among minor updates and fixes, the ability to use the HomePod for calls and support for multiple timers seem to be coming to the speaker.
While HomePod has had some speakerphone features since launch, it can’t access your contacts, so you currently need to start a call from your phone, then switch to the HomePod for audio. The same goes for receiving calls — you need to answer a call on your phone, then switch over to the HomePod. This seems set to change in HomePod OS 12, with users able to make and receive calls directly from the smart speaker without ever needing to pick up their phone. You would also be able to use the Find My iPhone command from the HomePod, making locating your lost phone much easier.
If you use your HomePod in the kitchen, the support for multiple timers could be extremely useful. When you’re trying to put together dinner, it’s not uncommon to have multiple pots cooking on the stove while you also have something going in the oven, and being able to have different timers going for all of these — entirely hands-free — would be a major upgrade for the HomePod.
If this has you suddenly wanting to buy a HomePod, you might want to hold off. Apple has been notoriously slow about bringing updates to the smart speaker, and it has yet to even officially confirm that these updates are in fact planned for the HomePod. If you already own the speaker and are wanting to use it more, check out our HomePod tips and tricks to help pass the time until the update (possibly) arrives.