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Apple adds lyric search, phone calls, and multiple timers to the HomePod

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Three cheers for multiple timers

homepod volume buttons Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

Apple didn’t leave its HomePod smart speaker out of today’s big iPhone event, with CEO Tim Cook sneaking in a few new features for the product at the tail end of the keynote presentation. In an upcoming update, Apple’s home speaker will let you search for songs via Siri by asking about specific snippets of lyrics. You’ll also be able to make and take phone calls from the device, as well as ping your iPhone in the event you’ve misplaced it somewhere in your home, similar to the ping feature on the Apple Watch.

Most importantly, however, you’ll soon be able to set multiple timers on the HomePod. Multiple timers is one of the best features for any modern smart speaker, letting you keep it in the kitchen and use it as a way to play music and stay atop an ongoing recipe as you cook. It’s one of the most used Alexa features on Amazon’s Echo line of speakers, and it’s been a big missing feature for the HomePod up until now. We don’t have a concrete date for when these features are arriving, but it’s safe to say they’ll likely be ready with the rollout of iOS 12 next week on September 17th.