While the HomePod is currently capable of handling calls after they’ve either been dialled or answered on an iPhone, it’s not possible to make or answer a call with the smart home speaker independently.
We didn’t hear anything about this feature coming to the speaker at this year’s WWDC keynote, but it looks like Apple’s smart speaker is getting the functionality when Apple releases iOS 12 publicly this September.
This isn’t the first time this rumour has popped up, with an earlier report indicating select retail and corporate employees at Apple were testing a new feature that allows the HomePod to make phone calls on its own, as well as setting multiple timers.
iOS 12’s developer beta 5 has confirmed that phone calls are coming to the HomePod, while the verdict on multiple timers is still unknown. Unfortunately since there’s no developer or public beta for the HomePod, it’s not possible to test the feature out.
Given that the smart speaker runs on a modified version of Apple’s mobile operating system, code designed for the HomePod is often included in developer updates for iOS, according to 9to5Mac, the original source of this report.
Both Amazon’s Echo devices and the Google Home are capable of answering and making calls independently and have been for some time. It makes sense for Apple to bring this functionality to its smart home speaker as well.
It’s likely that we’ll learn more about new features coming to Apple’s smart speaker at the company’s annual September hardware event.