iOS 12 to Bring Phone Calls to HomePod

iOS 12 to Bring Phone Calls to HomePod
Other new features will help Apple's HomePod catch up with rival smart speaker systems, according to a report.

(CCM) — Apple is planning to give its HomePod smart speakers the ability to make and receive phone calls with the next release of its iOS 12-based software, according to a report on Engadget.

Currently it is possible to start a call on an iPhone and then switch the call to the HomePod's microphone and speakers. But following the software update, the HomePod will only use the iPhone for connectivity to the cellular network, handling the call setup or answering itself after receiving voice commands from the device's owner.

The update will also introduce another new feature: multiple timers. Amazon's Echo and Google's Home smart speakers already have the ability to run multiple timers concurrently, so for the HomePod this is a matter of catching up with the competition rather than an innovative new feature.

Other new features to be introduced with the new iOS 12-based firmware include Spanish language support, a version of Find My iPhone for the HomePod, and a "fix Wifi" feature which forces the HomePod to connect to the same network as the iPhone without having to reset the HomePod. But a notable absence from the list of new features mentioned in the report is multi-user voice recognition which would allow the device to distinguish between different users in the same home, and tailor its responses accordingly.

Image: © Apple.