Apple HomePod to gain calling, timer and other new features

Apple HomePod to gain calling, timer and other new features
As Apple unveiled its new iPhone today, new features for its smart speaker HomePod were also introduced at the event. A software update, which will be released on September 17, will add more language support, multiple timer setup, phone call, and Find My iPhone features to HomePod.

Spanish language support will be added in the U.S., Spain and Mexico, while Canadian French language support will be added in Canada.

By connecting their phones to the speaker, homeowners will be able to use their HomePod devices a speakerphone at home. They can ask Siri to call someone from their contacts and answer calls as well. If there are missed calls, they can just say “Hey Siri, who just called?” and then decide whether to call back.

Multiple timer setup is another useful feature, especially in the kitchen. Users can use their voice to set up multiple timers, for instance, one for cake and one for lasagna.

Voice assistant Siri will also become smarter via the update. It needs to hear just a couple of lyrics to search in the Apple Music for the song and play it out loud.

And with Siri Shortcuts, users can set up a series of automation actions, and trigger it with one voice command from their iPhones. For instance, saying “Hey Siri, good morning” will order a cup of coffee from the Starbucks app, turn on the kitchen light and read the appointments on the calendar.

Siri Shortcuts, which was introduced in the new operating system iOS 12, will become available to iPhones and iPads on September 17. With Siri Shortcuts, devices that support Apple HomeKit can be triggered as part of automation actions.

HomePod is currently available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and U.S., and will be available in Mexico and Spain starting on October 26.
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