Apple is giving its HomePod smart speaker some new features, but some of them will come later than sooner. Here’s a quick view at the HomePod’s upcoming features and their corresponding arrival windows.
The Cupertino tech giant talked about the new iPhone 11 lineup, the new 10.2-inch iPad and the new Apple Watch Series 5 during its recent September event, but it didn’t talk about one of its products that’s set to receive some updates of its own in a matter of weeks — the HomePod.
Apple quietly updated the HomePod product page on Apple.com to announce that some new features will be coming to the smart speaker later this month and sometime this fall. The updates, first spotted by 9To5Mac, include the ability to search for and tune in to radio stations, multi-user support, the “handoff” feature, and the new Ambient Sounds feature.
Here’s a quick look at each of the new features:
Radio stations feature
The HomePod will be able to tune in to 100,000 radio stations both located locally and abroad via an update that will be released on Sept. 30. Live radio stations can be accessed by simply telling Siri to tune in. This feature requires signing in using an Apple ID.
HomePod owners who are halfway through a phone call or a favorite track on their iPhone or iPad can continue conversing or listening on the HomePod using the Handoff feature, which will be available this coming fall. Users will simply need to place their iOS or iPadOS device next to their HomePod to have their call or music transferred to the smart speaker seamlessly.
Siri, on the HomePod, will recognize up to six different voices then create a personalized listening experience for each of those voices. This feature, which will be available this fall, will give each family member a customized mix based on their listening history and personal preferences.
This new feature, which will be available this fall, will let users play ambient sounds like ocean waves, rainstorms, forest birds and other white noise sounds on their HomePod easily.
Pictured: A Customer inspects the new Apple HomePod at an Apple Store in San Francisco, California, Feb. 9, 2018. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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