HomePod is finally adding one of the most used features found on the Amazon Echo and Google Home devices: multiple timers.
In his wrap-up to today’s Apple media event, which primarily focused on the new iPhones and Apple Watch, Tim Cook took a second to remind us that the HomePod is alive and kicking. And getting a couple of handy new features, too.
Multiple timers are especially useful in the kitchen. For example, if you’re preparing a meal, you can set one timer for your vegetables and another for your meat. That might not sound like it’ll set the world on fire, but it’s a simple and incredibly useful tool that should have been included from day one.
But wait… there’s more!
Alongside multiple timers, HomePod will now also let users search by song lyrics, meaning that you can still find the song you want, even if you can’t remember its name.
In addition, Apple’s smart speaker will let you make and receive phone calls — by asking Siri to call a person in your contacts or reading out a phone number. Incoming calls are automatically directed from iPhone to HomePod, and you’ll be able to respond to missed calls by asking, ‘Hey Siri, who just called?’ An audio picker option on your iPhone lets you move calls from HomePod to iPhone at any time.
Finally, HomePod is adding support for Spanish in the U.S., Spain and Mexico, along with expanding support in Canada with Canadian French.
While most of these features are simply catching up with other smart speakers already out there, it’s good to see Apple continue to improve the HomePod experience. The new features will be rolling out with an over-the-air software update on September 17.