HomePod OS 12 Beta Software Said to Support Multiple Timers, New Phone Call Features, and More

homepod speaker 1A new HomePod firmware update due to be released in the fall could include some significant new features for Apple's smart speaker.

French tech blog iGeneration reports that a beta version of the software currently in internal testing enables HomePod users to make calls and answer them, ask Siri to Find My iPhone, and set multiple timers on the device.

Currently, HomePod owners who want to use the built-in speakerphone feature must make or receive a call on their iPhone and then switch the audio output to the HomePod when the call connects. With the beta software, however, the HomePod appears to have access to the user's contacts, allowing them to initiate the call directly on the speaker.

In addition to the above, the report suggests HomePod users could soon be able to listen to voicemails and search their call history over the speaker. Improvements to Siri's general knowledge are also hinted at, including specific enhancements to the virtual assistant's food and nutrition knowledge base.

Lastly, the report mentions a new Wi-Fi feature that appears to allow HomePod users to switch the speaker to another wireless network as long as a paired iPhone knows the password. As it stands, users can only choose which network to connect their HomePod to during the initial setup.

As with all beta software, these features may be changed, delayed, or removed completely by the time the firmware is officially released.

The last software update for HomePod came with iOS 11.4.1, but it was limited to stability and quality improvements. We'll know more about what's in store for HomePod in September or October, when Apple releases iOS 12, along with watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave.

Related Roundup: HomePod

Top Rated Comments

ersan191 Avatar
46 months ago
You can’t even make a call with current homepod??? Why do they even call it a smart speaker?
You couldn't make voice calls on an Echo until 3 years after it came out, Google Home couldn't for nearly a year after it came out... Echo just got text messages in February, and Google Home still can't send them - a feature HomePod had at launch.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
46 months ago
Question. Can you use the homepod as a speaker only via wifi/bluetooth and turn of all other 'spy' features like siri/microphones ect??
You can tell Siri to stop listening. I don't see any reason to buy a HomePod though if that's what you're going to do with it, especially if you're prone to paranoia.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ersan191 Avatar
46 months ago
Great news - calls were the biggest feature I missed after switching from the Echo, and this would make HomePod the only platform that can actually answer incoming calls. Find my iPhone I've been using a homebridge module I created for it but native support is more than welcome. Multiple timers is extremely basic functionality and it probably should have shipped with it.

I'm very happy Apple is putting work into the HomePod even though sales are supposedly not stellar. I just bought 5 for my house and replaced all of my Echos and even my sound bar with them.

Seems odd they wouldn't cover any of this at WWDC though.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chucker23n1 Avatar
46 months ago
Also, “available in the fall”... not everyone lives in northern hemisphere; why not just say “3rd quarter” or a calendar month?
That's why Apple AU's site says "coming this spring" instead.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
341328 Avatar
46 months ago
Please let me choose another tone or music for the alarm. Also, “hey Siri” turns off alarm (should it?).

Also, “available in the fall”... not everyone lives in northern hemisphere; why not just say “3rd quarter” or a calendar month?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
46 months ago
This is the software which should have come with the launch of the device.

Apple really needs to get its act together.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
iPad Air Feature 2 green

New Apple Products Filed in Regulatory Database, Likely Including New iPhone SE and iPad Air

Tuesday January 18, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Apple today filed unreleased iPhone and iPad models in the Eurasian Economic Commission database, as spotted by French blog Consomac. The filings likely represent the rumored third-generation iPhone SE, fifth-generation iPad Air, and potentially more. The unreleased iPhone models have the identifiers A2595, A2783, and A2784, while the unreleased iPad models have the identifiers A2588, A2589, ...
iphone 5g mmwave

U.S. Airlines Warn of 'Catastrophic' Crisis With Impending 5G Rollout, AT&T and Verizon Agree to Delay Around Airports

Tuesday January 18, 2022 10:35 am PST by
Verizon and AT&T's upcoming rollout of new C-Band 5G technology could cause chaos and lead to widespread delays of passenger and cargo flights, major U.S. airlines said on Monday in a letter sent to the White House National Economic Council, the FAA, and the FCC (via Reuters). "Unless our major hubs are cleared to fly, the vast majority of the traveling and shipping public will essentially...
microsoft office icons

Microsoft Releases Office for Mac Update With Full Apple Silicon Support in Excel

Tuesday January 18, 2022 4:15 am PST by
Microsoft has released a new version of its Office for Mac productivity suite that includes an updated Excel app with 100% native support for Apple silicon machines. According to the release notes accompanying version 16.57, Excel will now run natively on Macs powered by Apple's M1-series processors without having to use the Rosetta 2 translation layer, which means anyone using a Mac with an ...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID

Rumored iPhone 14 Pro Feature Delayed Until Next Year

Wednesday January 19, 2022 3:00 am PST by
Apple's long-rumored under-display Face ID technology will not be coming to the iPhone 14 Pro, according to recent reports. Based on the latest rumors, it now looks unlikely that the 6.1-inch iPhone 14 Pro and 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max will feature Face ID technology under the display as several reports claimed over the past year. Display industry consultant Ross Young, who often reveals ...