“In addition to the big releases of iOS 12 and watchOS 5 this week, Apple’s HomePod smart speaker also saw its first major update, in the form of what Apple now appears to be calling iOS 12 for the HomePod — a change from the prior naming convention of simply listing the updates with identifiers like HomePod 11.3,” Jesse Hollington writes for iLounge. “Since the HomePod came out in the middle of the iOS 11 cycle, the iOS 12 for HomePod update is the first major update that actually brings a set of brand new features to the smart speaker; while HomePod 11.4 was also a fairly significant update, it mostly delivered on the promises Apple had already made, such as adding AirPlay 2 and stereo pairing support. iOS 12 for HomePod, on the other hand, begins to actually evolve the HomePod’s feaure set, albeit slowly.”

“Probably the most welcome addition in iOS 12 for HomePod is the ability to now set multiple timers. Previously, HomePod allowed you to run a timer with a simple voice command, but you could only run one at a time — attemping to start a second timer would cancel the first one,” Hollington writes. “Now, with iOS 12 for HomePod, asking for a second timer will simply start a second timer.”

“With iOS 12 for HomePod you can place calls and answer calls directly on the HomePod using Siri commands,” Hollington writes. “Placing a call is simply a matter of asking the HomePod to call somebody, which can be done in either two stages, saying Hey Siri, make a call and then responding to Siri’s ‘Who do you want to call?’ question with either a name from your contacts or a phone number. Or you can just say it all in a single phrase like ‘Hey Siri, call Jesse Hollington.’ If you say a name that exactly matches one of your contacts, Siri will often simply place the call; however if Siri isn’t sure she heard you correctly, or if you say only a partial name or a phone number, Siri will ask for additional confirmation just to make sure she got it right.”

Much more in the full article — including Find My iPhone, Calendar support, and more — here.

MacDailyNews Take: The calling feature works well and is a great addition to HomePod’s capabilities!

With iOS 12, Apple’s HomePod finally feels like a member of the household – September 21, 2018
Just 2% of Apple customers have a HomePod – September 18, 2018
iMore reviews Apple’s HomePod: Retina for your ears – June 18, 2018
Can a pair of Apple’s HomePods take on a surround sound theater system? – June 18, 2018
David Pogue reviews Apple HomePod with stereo and multi-room capabilities: ‘Ooh, man’ – June 13, 2018
HomePod stereo pairing took a frustratingly long time to arrive, but it was worth the wait – May 30, 2018
Strategy Analytics: Apple shipped 600,000 HomePods in Q1 for 6% share of smart speaker market – May 17, 2018
The Inquirer reviews Apple’s HomePod: ‘Looks great, sounds fantastic; Siri needs work’ – April 6, 2018
I want another Apple HomePod for sure, maybe two more – March 20, 2018
Sound quality shootout: Apple HomePod vs. two Sonos Ones – March 16, 2018
Apple HomePod: The audiophile perspective plus 8 1/2 hours of measurements; HomePod is 100% an audiophile-grade speaker – February 12, 2018
Apple’s HomePod is actually a steal at $349 – January 26, 2018
Digital Trends previews Apple’s HomePod: Impressive sound coupled with strong privacy – January 26, 2018
Hands on with Apple’s HomePod: Attractive, ultra-high-quality speaker, an excellent Siri ambassador – January 26, 2018
Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018