At today's "Gather Round" event at the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California, Apple CEO Tim Cook highlighted some new features that are coming to the HomePod through a software update set to be released next Monday.
The HomePod will gain a number of new features with the software update, which is going to come alongside iOS 12, tvOS 12, and watchOS 5.
- Search for your favorite songs by lyrics using Siri
- Create multiple timers
- Make and receive phone calls right from the HomePod
- Ping your iPhone or any of your Apple devices to find them in your home
HomePod is also going to work with Siri Shortcuts, a feature coming in iOS 12. According to Cook, Siri Shortcuts will "open up a world of apps" for HomePod.
Many of these new features are additions that HomePod users have been hoping for. The HomePod has been the butt of jokes for not being able to support more than one timer at once, and while it could be used as a speakerphone previously, the new phone call functionality will expand its usefulness as a standalone communication device.
All of Apple's fall software updates are set to be released on Monday, September 17, with the exception of macOS Mojave, which will see a release on September 24.