Not wanting to miss out on the Smart Speakers hype train, Apple released their own version of the Google Home called HomePods. Today, the HomePods get a new set of features that include the ability to search by lyrics, set multiple timers, make and receive phone calls and more. The update also adds support for new languages such as Spanish and French. Now, let's take a look at some of the new features:
- Search by lyrics: Search by lyrics lets you ask Siri to “play the song that goes like this...” or “play the song that goes ‘I’m a rebel just for kicks now.’”. Results may vary and you might not get the track you were looking for, depending on its popularity.
- Set multiple timers: HomePod now supports multiple named timers. Set a timer for the cake, another one for lasagna and another one as a reminder to dim the lights. Not entirely groundbreaking but a nice feature to have nonetheless.
- Make and receive phone calls: You can now use the HomePod to make and receive phone calls. To make a call, ask Siri to call someone from Contacts or say the number to call. Additonally, Incoming calls are automatically directed from iPhone to HomePod by asking Siri to answer the phone. Calls can also be moved from HomePod to iPhone at any time via the audio picker on the iPhone.
- Find My iPhone: You can now use the Find My iPhone app via the HomePods to locate your device, should it get lost.
- Siri Shortcuts: Siri Shortcuts is little more than Apple's take on Google Assistant Routines, which was rolled out months ago. You can now say “Hey Siri, good morning” and it'll trigger a morning routine that will tell you about your day, weather, traffic conditions and order coffee from a coffee shop’s app.
Finally, the HomePods appear to be on par with the Google Home, but Apple's Smart Speakers have a lot of ground to cover before it can dethrone the likes of Google and Amazon.