New iOS 12 beta appears to confirm major new Apple HomePod feature

A new version of the iOS 12 beta appears to confirm HomePod will soon support direct calling from a connected iPhone.

Currently, Apple’s smart speaker lacks the ability to make a phone call via a Siri command but, as previously rumoured, iOS 12 looks set to change that. The evidence appears within the fifth developer beta of the iOS 12 beta as part of the set-up screens for HomePod.

The Personal Requests set-up screen, which enables multiple users to issue certain commands to the HomePod, now explains the feature will let folks “make phone calls” when the iPhone is connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

There’s also an obscured fourth icon next to the Messages, Reminders and Calendar, which 9to5Mac says is the Phone app icon that simply cannot be rendered within its simulator. Unfortunately, there’s no beta software available for the HomePod so the feature cannot be tested at this time.

Related: Apple HomePod

Image credit: 9to5Mac

Apple has not yet officially acknowledged this will be a feature within iOS 12 and no reference was made during the WWDC 2018 keynote in early June. Currently HomePod users can transfer calls to the speaker, but cannot initiate new calls. However, if Apple wants to keep pace with other smart speakers on the market this will have to change.

Google Home users, for example, are enable to use the Assistant to make free Wi-Fi calls without the need for a connected handset.

The final version of iOS 12 won’t arrive until mid-September (if history is any guide), but we hope this feature is part of the pack. Other rumoured HomePod-centric features, include the ability to set multiple timers, as Apple looks to build beyond the speaker’s audio nous with improved smarts.

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

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