The iOS 12 developer beta 5 released on Monday has confirmed that Apple’s HomePod smart speaker is picking up an all-new calling feature. Though previously rumored, this is the first time specific details about the feature have been discovered. The information was first found in the setup UI for HomePod in iOS 12 by 9to5Mac.
Last week, iGeneration said you’ll soon be able to use HomePod to make phone calls, answer a call, redial a number, search your call log, listen to messages on your voicemail, or make an emergency call. It’s not entirely clear whether FaceTime Audio will be supported, although it sounds likely.
The French publication also said it expects Apple’s smart speaker to gain more information about food and nutrition, and public figures. It’s also going to be easier to switch the Wi-Fi network the smart speaker is on. When your iPhone is on a different network, for example, switching HomePod to the new network will now be a seamless process. Currently, you need to reset the device to change network information.
As 9to5Mac explains of the latest finding in iOS 12 beta 5:
The personal requests setup UI for HomePod now includes a fourth icon, for the Phone app (the icon is blank in the screenshot because that app is not available in the simulator, where we’ve been able to activate this new UI). On the same screen, it describes some of the personal requests you can make to HomePod: “…add reminders, create notes, make phone calls, and more”.
There’s no developer beta for HomePod so we’ll have to wait until this fall to test out the new feature.
As a reminder, iOS 12 should be released in September alongside updated versions of tvOS, watchOS, and macOS.