HomePod will soon make and receive phone calls, support Siri Shortcuts, multiple timers and more

Right before Apple CEO Tim Cook ended the company’s “Gather round” event earlier today, he briefly mentioned upcoming changes to the HomePod smart speaker. These include a new way to find music, the ability to run multiple timers at the same time, and more.

With an upcoming software update, HomePod will have the ability to search for songs using lyrics. For example, you can ask Siri to “play the song that goes like this …” or you can ask Siri to “play the song that goes ‘Because the sky is blue.”

You will also be able to use HomePod to make and receive phone calls for the first time. To make a call, ask Siri to call someone from your Contacts app. You can also just mention the number to call. Incoming calls can also be directed from iPhone to HomePod, and you can ask Siri who just called.

HomePod will also pick up a Find My iPhone feature so you can ping any of your nearby devices with ease.

Meanwhile, the addition of multiple timers on HomePod will allow you to set different countdowns.

For example, you could ask Siri to count down to when it’s time to remove a cake from an oven, at the same time the voice assistant is remembering to remind you to turn off your lights. All you need to do is schedule timers using your voice.

Finally, there’s Siri Shortcuts. Also launching on iOS 12, the shortcuts allows Siri to learn routines to make your life easier. For example, “Hey Siri, good morning” could automatically run a morning routine that includes ordering your favorite drink from a coffee shop’s app, plus turn on the lights in your bathroom through the Apple Home app.

The latest HomePod update is likely to launch on Monday, Sept. 17 alongside the official release of iOS 12. Once it’s available, you’ll find the update through the Home app on your iPhone or iPad.