With Amazon’s Alexa and Echo speakers touting a ton of functionality across various connected objects, one of the main criticisms of Apple’s HomePod is that it seems to be lacking in the “smarts” department. To be fair Apple has marketed the speaker as being more audio-focused, but given that it houses Siri, it’s hard not to draw the comparisons.

That being said, the good news for HomePod owners is that it looks like the next update to the speaker will introduce some new Siri features. In a report from iGeneration (via 9to5Mac), it seems that in the HomePod OS 12 private beta, several new Siri features has been discovered. This includes the ability to start and answer phone calls via the speaker (presumably your iPhone needs to be on the same WiFi network), along with the ability to add multiple timers using Siri.

This is a feature that many have been asking for and it seemed like a rather basic feature that should have been added at the start, but we  suppose better late than never. As for the phone call function, this has also been something that users have been asking for. At the moment the HomePod does offer up speakerphone functionality, but it is a bit limited.

Users will need to initiate the call on their phones and because the HomePod does not have access to their contacts, they will not be able to use Siri to call a specific person. However this update is expected to change that, although given that this is a private beta, it is unclear as to how many of the new features are expected to make the final cut, and if they might be different upon release.

Filed in Apple >Audio >Gadgets. Read more about , and .

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