An update to HomePod software will soon be released that will add new functionality to Apple’s smart speakers that launched back in February 2018.
If you have yet to buy a HomePod you may be interested to learn that there are rumours that Apple could launch a new HomePod next spring. It might be smaller and cheaper than the current model.
HomePod OS 12 Release date
The HomePod software will be updated at the same time as iOS 12 launches on 17 September 2018.
We explain how to update your HomePod in this article, but essentially you will need to install the update on your HomePod via your iPhone, which will need to be running iOS 12 (here's how to download iOS 12).
This isn’t the first software update to ship for the HomePod, version 1.4 added stereo sound and multi-room abilities back in May 2018.
New HomePod features
The HomePod software update will bring the following new features and functionality, some of these updates have been announced by Apple, others have appeared in the iOS 12 beta and are expected.
- Users will be able to place phone calls directly from the HomePod (currently users have to make or take a call on an iPhone and then hand it over to the HomePod).
- Users will be able to listen to voicemails on the HomePod.
- The HomePod will work with Find My iPhone so users will be able to get it to play a sound on that device (or any other Apple device you have set up for the service) if they have misplaced it.
- Set more than one timer. One of the most frustrating omissions from the HomePod was that it wasn’t possible to set more than one timer - as you might have if you were cooking dinner, for example. Apple’s fixing that with the update.
- Change the WiFi network the HomePod is connected to. Right now the HomePod will automatically join the WiFi network that your iPhone is using. After the update getting the HomePod to switch to another network - perhaps because the one it’s on is too weak - should be easier.
- There will also be improved language support. (And on 26 October HomePod will launch in Spain and Mexico.)
- The HomePod will be able to relay the audio from group FaceTime calls (once group FaceTime arrives).
- You’ll be able to search for songs by Lyrics. So, if you don’t know a song’s name, you could just say: “Hey Siri, play the song that goes …” And quote the lyric that you know.
- Trigger Siri Shortcuts via the HomePod. This will make a big difference to how HomePod works with your Home Automation accessories as you will be able to set off chains of events with a single command. For example, if you said “goodnight” Siri could automatically turn off the lights, turn down the heating, and close the blinds (if you had the right HomeKit accessories).