HomePod update adds Ambient Sounds, multi-user support, and Handoff

Change what HomePod listens to you

Earlier today, Apple released iOS 13.2 to the public. That new software adds plenty of new features to the mobile operating system, but for owners of the HomePod there is quite a bit coming to the smart speaker along with that software update.

Apple on Monday released new software for the HomePod smart speaker alongside the iOS 13.2 launch. With it, Apple is adding the majority of new features that the company announced earlier this year but delayed until the fall. The new software is free, and it’s available to download and install now.

So here’s what’s new. First, Ambient Sounds. This will bring the “soothing sounds of ocean waves, forest birds, rainstorms, and more” to the smart speaker. It’s pretty straightforward, letting folks use the HomePod as a background noise device if they want, or something to help them fall asleep at night.

Next, multi-user support. With this update the HomePod can discern between different voices, understanding each individual in a family. This means they will be able to listen to their own music, including playlists, radio stations, and more.

The HomePod now supports Handoff. With this feature, owners will be able to quickly transition things like a phone call, music, and more to the HomePod from their iPhone. The standard scenario is something like this: walk through the door to your place while you’re listening to music on your iPhone. Simply walk up to the HomePod, put the phone near it, and the music will automatically transfer to the smart speaker and start playing from that.

The new update for the HomePod is available now. It will install automatically after you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 13.2.