Apple was pretty quiet about any HomePod updates at WWDC, but can you blame them? For the last year or so, any announcement that Apple has made about the HomePod, they weren’t able to deliver on. So instead of making a grand announcement about the next big thing with the HomePod, it seems like they’ve learned their lesson and are keeping quiet until these things are ready to go. And yes – they are making updates. But because they’re being so quiet about the updates, it’s hard for us to know or even predict what they might be. But now, the site iGeneration claims to have details of the HomePod’s iOS 12-based beta updates. It might address a ton of the feature requests that people have been making to Apple.
To start, it might include native phone call support. Instead of having to start the call on your iPhone and then switch audio inputs, you would be able to place and receive calls directly through your HomePod. Your iPhone would just supply the cellular connection. This wouldn’t necessarily be a new concept, as we’ve seen it with other smart speakers, but it would be a great new feature for the HomePod. Or would it? If it’s using Siri as the basis for the technology, I would argue that it’s not sophisticated enough to be able to make those phone calls. I wanted to put “yet” on there as an asterisk, but I’m not completely convinced that Siri will ever be as good as Alexa or Hey Google.
This report also addresses a relatively small, but important demand from users – multiple timers. With Amazon and Google’s devices, you can set multiple timers when you’re cooking. As of right now, this can’t be done with the HomePod. While it’s not a sophisticated feature, it makes things a heck of a lot easier when you’re cooking a bunch of different things. It just makes life so much easier! Other feature additions might include a HomePod version of Find My iPhone, Spanish language support and a fix Wifi feature that makes the HomePod connect to your iPhone’s network when there’s an issue. Previously, you had to reset the HomePod in order to solve this.
That said, is it worth it? The HomePod arrived pretty late on the scene and was lacking in features. Had Apple introduced the HomePod five years ago, maybe we wouldn’t be saying these things about it. But in comparison to Amazon or Google’s smart speaker, it’s not even in the same league. Not to mention the cost doesn’t make sense either. Sure, it’s less than Google’s Home Max, but again, you’re getting a lot more features. And, if I’m being honest, you know that the technology works with Google. I’m not trying to be hard on Apple with this one, I just think that it needs some improvements.
All of that said, these updates are just rumors at this point. Apple does need to get itself together and bring us an amazing HomePod because that’s what the world wants. Why it’s taking so long is anyone’s guess, but we might get our wish this fall.