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
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)
Related Forum: iOS 12

Top Rated Comments

ersan191 Avatar
70 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
70 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
70 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
70 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
70 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
70 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

iOS 17

iOS 17.2 Will Add These 12 New Features to Your iPhone

Friday December 1, 2023 12:19 pm PST by
iOS 17.2 has been in beta testing for over a month, and it should be released to all users in a few more weeks. The software update includes many new features and changes for iPhones, including the dozen that we have highlighted below. iOS 17.2 is expected to be released to the public in mid-December. To learn about even more features coming in the update, check out our full list. Journal ...
anker new xmas 1

Anker's Cyber Week Sale Enters Final Days With Up to 60% Off Sitewide

Friday December 1, 2023 12:05 pm PST by
Anker's Black Friday/Cyber Week event is entering its final days this weekend, and it's still offering up to 60 percent off sitewide. There are also a few "mystery boxes" that can include hundreds of dollars in savings, if you're willing to risk not knowing what you're buying ahead of time. All of these sales will end on December 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Anker. When you...
iOS 17

28 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in December's iOS 17.2 Update

Friday December 1, 2023 2:57 am PST by
Apple made the first beta of iOS 17.2 available to developers in October. Since then we've seen three more betas, and with each iteration Apple continues to add more new features and changes, many of which users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 28 new things that are coming to your iPhone when the finalized version is publicly released this December. 1. Help...
top stories 2dec2023

Top Stories: iOS 17.1.2 Released, NameDrop Misinformation, and More

Saturday December 2, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Apple employees are back to work following a Thanksgiving break, and that means this week saw a number of new operating system updates for both public release and beta testing. This week also saw some misinformation about Apple's new NameDrop feature making the rounds, while Apple and Goldman Sachs appear to be on the verge of a break-up in their Apple Card and savings account partnership,...
General Apps Messages

Green Bubbles on iPhone to Gain These 7 New Features Next Year

Thursday November 30, 2023 9:00 am PST by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that it will finally support RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting later next year. This change will result in several improvements to the messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices. RCS will become the new default standard for messaging between iPhones and Android devices, but these conversations will still have green bubbles like...
m2 macbook air green

Get Apple's M2 MacBook Air and M3 MacBook Pro for Record Low Prices

Friday December 1, 2023 6:59 am PST by
Best Buy is discounting a collection of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models to all-time low prices today. We're tracking these deals below in addition to great discounts on the Apple Pencil 2 and Apple Watch Ultra 1. MacBook Air Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
iPhone 16 Mock Header Updated 1

iPhone 16 to Include Action Button Across Entire Lineup

Thursday November 30, 2023 4:08 pm PST by
The release of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max saw the introduction of an entirely new user-configurable button known as the Action button, and now, MacRumors has seen extensive evidence confirming Apple is planning to include the Action button on the entire iPhone 16 range. Designs and plans for the Action button date back to at least 2021, as the button was intended for release alongside hapt...