New HomePod 12.1.1 update brings group FaceTime indicator & support for new regions

Apple today released the new iOS 12.1.1 software update for iPhone and iPad and it came with a pair of enhancements for the company’s Siri-driven HomePod wireless speaker.

What’s new in HomePod 12.1.1

Customers in mainland China and Hong Kong can now use their HomePod and access the full set of features thanks to regional support for their country.

TUTORIAL: Transferring iPhone calls to HomePod

And if you use Apple’s new group FaceTime feature and transfer the call from an iPhone or iPad to your HomePod, the LED lights atop the speaker will illuminate to indicate that a group FaceTime call is in progress.

Here’s the changelog for the HomePod 12.1.1 update:

  • Support in Mainland China and Hong Kong
  • HomePod LEDs illuminate during Group FaceTime calls

For information on the security content of this update, read Apple’s support document.

Previous HomePod updates

The previous HomePod update brought lyric search, the ability to make phone calls from the speaker, setting multiple timers, support for Siri Shortcuts and a Find My iPhone feature.

The first bug-fix HomePod update arrived back in March. It was followed in May by the most significant update yet which brought support for stereo-like pairing of two HomePods, AirPlay 2 support with multi-room audio, support for managing calendar appointments with Siri and more.

How to update your HomePod

To install the latest update, fire up the Home app on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 12.0 or newer, then tap the home icon in the upper-left corner of the interface to bring up hidden options.

TUTORIAL: How to update the software on your HomePod

If you have multiple HomeKit-compliant homes set up in the Home app, choose the option Home Settings after tapping the icon, then select a home to check for updates.

Change what HomePod listens to you

Now hit Software Update underneath the Speakers heading to see any pending updates. The version number for your HomePod’s current firmware is shown at the bottom.

If there’s a new update available for your speaker, tap Install and follow onscreen instructions.

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The current version of your HomePod’s firmware is shown in the iCloud settings on your iOS device (just tap your speaker from the list of devices) or you can see it in the Home app: tap the Home tab, press your HomePod with 3D Touch (or tap and hold), then choose Details.

Appel today also launched other updates, like iOS 12.1.1, tvOS 12.1.1 and macOS Mojave 101.4.2.