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HomePod Update: Multiple timers and native phone calls rumoured

Rumours are circulating that Apple is beta testing new software on the HomePod, which includes support for running multiple timers simultaneously and making phone calls directly from the smart speaker

The original report, which comes to us from iGeneration, suggests that this update could arrive alongside iOS 12 when it releases this autumn. Apparently it’s currently being beta tested by Apple employees and a small selection of retail staff.

Related: Apple HomePod

Both of these pieces of functionality are small but significant additions to the HomePod. One of the most common uses for competing smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home is as a kitchen assistant, with a key emphasis on using voice commands to set timers.

However, when the HomePod first launched it could only run one timer at a time, significantly limiting its usefulness in this particular area.

Making phone calls is a less central piece of functionality, but it’s one the HomePod can technically already do — so long as you use your iPhone to start the phone call before transferring it. Reports on the upcoming update suggest that in future you’ll be able to start the call directly from the smart speaker itself.

However, with no official confirmation from Apple, you should be take all these rumours with a significant pinch of salt.

Continued smart speaker support

The HomePod wasn’t the most impressive smart speaker when it first launched. Although it sounded great, it lacked much of the functionality that we’ve come to take for granted from the likes of Amazon’s Echo or the Google Home.

But Apple is better than most companies at offering continuous support and updates for its hardware. Since launch, the HomePod has already gained the ability to be placed in a stereo pair with another speaker, and has received AirPlay 2 support.

Read more: Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Both of these pieces of functionality were promised before the speaker originally released, but we’d expect to start seeing new features added soon.

What do you want to see added to the HomePod in an update? Let us know @TrustedReviews.