HomePod to get Siri Short­cuts in new up­date

A free up­date will let you make phone calls, set mul­ti­ple timers, and use Siri Short­cuts, re­ports

Macworld - - CONTENTS - Ro­man Loy­ola

At the re­cent ‘Gather Round’ event, Ap­ple an­nounced that its HomePod wire­less speaker will be re­ceived sev­eral new fea­tures in a free soft­ware up­date. The fea­tures mostly in­volve im­prove­ments to Siri, to fur­ther en­hance the HomePod’s abil­ity as a dig­i­tal as­sis­tant. The Siri im­prove­ments in HomePod are avail­able now and in­clude the fol­low­ing.

Song search by lyrics: HomePod users will be able to make song search based on the lyrics of a song. You can ask, “Hey Siri, play the song that goes…” and then you can state the lyric. No word on whether the lyrics field in your iTunes li­brary will need to be com­pleted for this fea­ture to work.

Sup­port for phone calls: Users can tell Siri via HomePod to call some­one in Con­tacts, or to call a phone num­ber. Ap­ple says in­com­ing calls are au­to­mat­i­cally di­rected from the iPhone to the HomePod, and on­go­ing calls can be moved from the iPhone to the HomePod us­ing the au­dio picker.

Siri Short­cuts: With the new Short­cuts app on iOS 12, you can cre­ate short­cuts that can be ac­ces­si­ble through the HomePod. Short­cuts are a way to pro­gram an iOS de­vice to per­form one or a set of ac­tions.

Mul­ti­ple timers: One of the dis­ap­point­ments about the re­lease of HomePod was its sup­port for only one timer. The up­date will now al­low for mul­ti­ple timers that you can use for per­sonal use or with HomeKit de­vices.

Find My iPhone: Can’t find your iPhone? Now you can ask Siri on the HomePod, and it will ping the phone if it’s nearby.

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