HomePod is expected to get even smarter this fall when Apple rolls out a big software update.
A new report claims the $349 device will be able to handle phone calls, retrieve your voicemail, and run multiple timers. It could also give you the ability to search for songs by using their lyrics, and to translate languages.
Apple considers HomePod to be a stellar audio experience above everything else. The device isn’t marketed as a competitor to the Amazon Alexa or Google Home. But that doesn’t mean that Apple doesn’t want it to be smarter.
With a big iOS 12 update coming this fall, it could catch up with its rivals in a number of key areas.
HomePod high on Apple’s list of priorities
One of the biggest features on the way, according to a report from French blog iGeneration, is support for phone calls. HomePods paired with an iPhone will be able to make and receive calls, redial recent numbers, search your call log, and retrieve your voicemail messages.
You will also be able to use HomePod to make emergency calls, and to locate a misplaced iPhone, the report adds. It’s not yet clear if FaceTime Audio will be supported, but it certainly seems likely.
HomePod is also expected to get support for managing multiple timers simultaneously, which is great for those who use their HomePod while cooking, and for searching Apple Music tracks based on their lyrics — a feature already offered by the likes of Google.
Finally, this update will bring HomePod and macOS Mojave closer together. It’s thought users will be able to manage HomePods from their Mac, and switch between Wi-Fi networks without having to reset their speaker.
This long list of new features proves Apple is serious about improving HomePod, and that the device is high on its list of priorities. Some might consider it to be too expensive for now, but the more it can do, the more it justifies its steep price tag.