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Apple HomePod OS 12 Gets Phone Call, Multi-Timer Support and More Features

By Nitish Singh / July 23, 2018

While Apple’s HomePod was one of the most hyped products, the smart speaker system failed to offer due to stiff competition from Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Apple is bringing a host of new features to its flagship smart speaker system in September with the latest HomePod OS 12. HomePod OS is a stripped-down version of iOS that is available for Apple’s smart speakers.

The latest iOS 12 beta includes enhanced call management support with the ability to switch between audio outputs when a call is connected. Users can also initiate calls using voice commands, a basic feature found in smart speakers that were not available to HomePod users. Users will also be able to listen to voicemails from their Apple iPhone devices.

The internal testing build of Apple’s HomePod OS 12 also allows users to access iPhone features like Multi-Timer and Find my iPhone. The features can be accessed by using Siri to set up multiple timers or locate a missing iPhone. Find My iPhone works only if the missing device is connected via Wi-Fi or data and has location services enabled.

Users can also switch between Wi-Fi networks without requiring a companion Apple device. The swap feature works as long as the HomePod has been used to connect to the Wi-Fi networks you want to access previously.

The pool of updates is not restricted to HomePod OS alone. With iOS as a whole receiving a large number of updates for voice assistant Siri, we can expect the smart speakers to offer much more functionality than they currently do. Siri Shortcuts and third-party app integration are arriving this September to all Apple devices that are eligible for iOS 12.

Do you think the new updates to Apple's smart speakers can help them compete against Alexa and Google Home devices? Let us know in the comments below. Get instant updates on TechNadu’s Facebook page, or Twitter handle.



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