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HomePod OS Update Coming Monday

14 September 2018

Apple:

HomePod, the innovative wireless speaker from Apple, is adding new features that let customers do even more with Siri on HomePod, including the ability to search by lyrics, set multiple timers, make and receive phone calls and more

After the iPhone and Watch announcements, Tim Cook said they had a quick update on HomePod and began by recapping the AirPlay 2 features they added “recently”. I had to laugh. We’ve already been through one keynote in which AirPlay 2 existed, as the feature shipped the week before WWDC. At the developer keynote, they elected not to mention the HomePod operating system at all. I thought that was a funny warping of the timeline.

Thankfully, that’s wasn’t the only news. Cook announced a substantial bout of new features coming to the HomePod on Monday. Multiple timers, make and receive phone calls, lyrics-based song playback. As the HomePod OS does not participate in a public beta program — I wish it would — I’ll just trust for now that these features are implemented well.

With this update, it finally feels like Apple has delivered what the HomePod experience should have been on day one. AirPlay 2 dramatically improves the home music experience, and this latest 12.0 update adds the obvious missing holes on the assistant side. There’s still a lot more runway to tackle, like proper multiple user support and furthering iPhone independence, but I can finally consider this a complete 1.0 product.