HomePod OS 12 Beta Software Said to Support Multiple Timers, New Phone Call Features, and More

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    A new HomePod firmware update due to be released in the fall could include some significant new features for Apple's smart speaker.

    French tech blog iGeneration reports that a beta version of the software currently in internal testing enables HomePod users to make calls and answer them, ask Siri to Find My iPhone, and set multiple timers on the device.

    Currently, HomePod owners who want to use the built-in speakerphone feature must make or receive a call on their iPhone and then switch the audio output to the HomePod when the call connects. With the beta software, however, the HomePod appears to have access to the user's contacts, allowing them to initiate the call directly on the speaker.

    In addition to the above, the report suggests HomePod users could soon be able to listen to voicemails and search their call history over the speaker. Improvements to Siri's general knowledge are also hinted at, including specific enhancements to the virtual assistant's food and nutrition knowledge base.

    Lastly, the report mentions a new Wi-Fi feature that appears to allow HomePod users to switch the speaker to another wireless network as long as a paired iPhone knows the password. As it stands, users can only choose which network to connect their HomePod to during the initial setup.

    As with all beta software, these features may be changed, delayed, or removed completely by the time the firmware is officially released.

    The last software update for HomePod came with iOS 11.4.1, but it was limited to stability and quality improvements. We'll know more about what's in store for HomePod in September or October, when Apple releases iOS 12, along with watchOS 5, tvOS 12, and macOS Mojave.

    Article Link: HomePod OS 12 Beta Software Said to Support Multiple Timers, New Phone Call Features, and More
     
  2. dan9700 macrumors 68000

    dan9700

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    #2
    Cant wait to say call.... This will be huge saw this the other day on 9to5mac
     
  3. ersan191, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018

    ersan191 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Great news - calls were the biggest feature I missed after switching from the Echo, and this would make HomePod the only platform that can actually answer incoming calls. Find my iPhone I've been using a homebridge module I created for it but native support is more than welcome. Multiple timers is extremely basic functionality and it probably should have shipped with it.

    I'm very happy Apple is putting work into the HomePod even though sales are supposedly not stellar. I just bought 5 for my house and replaced all of my Echos and even my sound bar with them.

    Seems odd they wouldn't cover any of this at WWDC though.
     
  4. Cougarcat macrumors 604

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    #4
    Multiple timers...finally. But if it's only on the HomePod, that would be strange. Hopefully this means it'll be a 12.1 feature.
     
  5. rturner2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 18, 2009
    #5
    Please let me choose another tone or music for the alarm. Also, “hey Siri” turns off alarm (should it?).

    Also, “available in the fall”... not everyone lives in northern hemisphere; why not just say “3rd quarter” or a calendar month?
     
  6. multipasser macrumors member

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    #6
    Question. Can you use the homepod as a speaker only via wifi/bluetooth and turn of all other 'spy' features like siri/microphones ect??
     
  7. BWhaler macrumors 68030

    BWhaler

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    #7
    This is the software which should have come with the launch of the device.

    Apple really needs to get its act together.
     
  8. ersan191 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    You can tell Siri to stop listening. I don't see any reason to buy a HomePod though if that's what you're going to do with it, especially if you're prone to paranoia.
     
  9. hoon2999 macrumors regular

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    #9
    You can’t even make a call with current homepod??? Why do they even call it a smart speaker?
     
  10. NBAasDOGG Suspended

    NBAasDOGG

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    #10
    Because it’s made by smart people at Apple :)
     
  11. LaraCroft835 macrumors member

    LaraCroft835

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    #11
    should know by now that the US is the centre of the universe lol
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2018 ---
    the fact that iPad iMac and Apple Watch can all do calls what's one more device
     
  12. ersan191 macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    You couldn't make voice calls on an Echo until 3 years after it came out, Google Home couldn't for nearly a year after it came out... Echo just got text messages in February, and Google Home still can't send them - a feature HomePod had at launch.
     
  13. jeremiah256 macrumors 6502a

    jeremiah256

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    #13
    There is a microphone on your phone and using triangulation, locates you even if your GPS is turned off.
     
  14. ersan191 macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    The original French article also says OS 12 will improve Siri's general knowledge, and specifically mentions food and nutrition facts and knowledge of 'great personalities' - which I think means celebrities and historical figures.
     
  15. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

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    #15
    Yes but random commenter on internet recently told me ‘Apple bad, and HomePod bad’. Surely a positive comment must therefore be untrue, mustn’t it? ;-)
     
  16. Ted13, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018

    Ted13 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Because the 3rd quarter in Apple Earnings parlance is April through June... and the specific month may change (see the HomePods original release...)
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2018 ---
    Stuff like Find My iPhone doesn't make sense for anyone but HomePod owners who live alone. Until Siri starts recognizing specific voices all the personal features can cause more problems than good.

    But overall I am very excited about iOS 12, etc. Big improvements
     
  17. ersan191 macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Presumably you'd be able to locate other phones that are part of your family as well, since you can on the App.
     
  18. Bswails macrumors regular

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    #17
    Family share would be the ideal way Apple introduces multi user voice support on home devices(Apple TV, iPads ,HomePod)
     
  19. BvizioN macrumors 601

    BvizioN

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    #18
    Ha ha ha, love it :)
     
  20. BvizioN macrumors 601

    BvizioN

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    #19
    I could be wrong but I think they call it HomePod and not smart speaker?
    I don't recall Apple labeling this as a smart speaker but I could be wrong.
     
  21. DNichter macrumors 604

    DNichter

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    #20
    Development of features takes time. For example, the Amazon Echo came out in 2014 and didn't get this feature until September 2017, less than a year ago. Apple is moving quickly with adding features, but I would rather they take their time. Feature parity in regards to Siri is definitely lacking a bit on the HomePod, but what it's supposed to do - it does very well. I replaced 3 Echo's with 2 HomePod's and everything is better.
     
  22. Boatboy24 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Do you need voice recognition for that? I would think it'd be as simple as saying 'Hey Siri, where is John's iPad?' vs 'Hey Siri, where is Jane's iPad?'
     
  23. chucker23n1 macrumors 68000

    chucker23n1

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    #22
    HomePod cannot be used as a Bluetooth speaker, and if you want a Bluetooth speaker, there's plenty of choices for that.

    You can pretty much only use HomePod as
    • an AirPlay 1/2 speaker
    • a Siri-controller speaker
    There's no line-in or anything. So if you don't want Siri, maybe you should look into different AirPlay speakers.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2018 ---
    That would be my guess — that they'll roll it out as part of iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, watchOS 12.1, audioOS(?) 12.1. There's no rush to ship it as part of the x.0 updates.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2018 ---
    Does Find my Device support family sharing yet? Cause otherwise, that wouldn't really work, since the devices are tied to a main iCloud account.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 23, 2018 ---
    I mean… yes and no. Their splash page does explicitly say:

    But most of the page focuses on audio, not on "smart" features. Whether this discrepancy is because some people would like it to be more of a smart speaker (meaning Apple is offering exactly what they're promising to), or because it should be more of a smart speaker (meaning Apple is lagging behind) is kind of subjective.

    A lot of tech journalism seems to place it in the same realm as Amazon Echo and Google Home, and one can argue that that's not really Apple's problem to solve.
     
  24. technole macrumors regular

    technole

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    #23
    Well, Apple in California does.

    Saying Fall gives a window.
     
  25. chucker23n1 macrumors 68000

    chucker23n1

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    #24
    That's why Apple AU's site says "coming this spring" instead.
     
  26. dual64bit macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I'm glad to see more features being added - having used a HomePod since day one I was disappointed in it's original limitations but knew the potential of new features being added over time such as making/receiving phone calls.
     

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