The latest iOS 12 developer beta 5 has unexpectedly become the source of a lot of Apple rumors of late. First, it confirmed reports of a dual-SIM iPhone, then it revealed images of the AirPods wireless charging case, followed by proof of the iPhone X Plus’ landscape mode.
Now the very same build is providing clues about changes coming to the Apple HomePod. 9to5Mac has come across a brand new personal requests setup for the speaker (see above). You’ll notice a missing fourth icon has been added, likely for the Phone app. The same pop-up describes how you can “make phone calls” with the HomePod.
New HomePod Features
This was actually leaked last week thanks to a private beta being shared among retail and corporate Apple employees. As per the report, owners can ask their HomePod to answer calls, dial contacts, listen to voicemails, and go through their call history.
This is a big improvement over the current scenario. Right now, if a user gets a call, they have to answer it and then reroute the audio to their HomePod. If they want to initiate a call, they have to start it on their iPhone and then transfer it to the smart speaker.
One drawback to the HomePod is that it can’t tell the differences between voices and can only sync with one Apple account at a time. If you’re worried about someone calling your contacts without your permission, the company requires your iPhone to be around when accessing personal information.
Apple might change its rules and make Siri a bit smarter with future updates, so we’ll keep an eye out for that. The virtual assistant will soon be able to set multiple timers and find missing iPhones via the HomePod. You’ll be able to ask it to play a sound on the lost device to help you find it.