Update, 10:30PM ET: There are reports at MacRumors and elsewhere that this update is bricking HomePods. The Verge has contacted Apple for more information, but for now you might want to hold off on running the update.
Original story below:
Apple has finally released the promised fall update for its HomePod smart speaker with iOS 13.2, adding the ability for the speaker to tell different voices apart for proper multiuser support. The new features were originally supposed to ship alongside iOS 13 but were delayed back in September.
Once you’ve updated your HomePod, the speaker will be able to tell up to six different voices apart, providing personalized music, calendar, reminders, and messages for that specific person. (In other words, you won’t have to worry about your roommates sending prank messages through your HomePod.) Other smart speakers, like Google’s Assistant-powered devices, have supported similar functionality for years, but it’s nice to see Apple finally catching up.
Also new with iOS 13.2 is a handoff feature that will let you seamlessly transition music, podcasts, or phone calls directly from your iPhone to your HomePod simply by moving the phone close to the speaker. There’s also a new “Ambient Sounds” feature for playing a variety of different types of white noise and sleep timers for falling asleep to either music or Ambient Sounds.
The full changelog of new HomePod features is listed below:
iOS 13.2 provides support for new HomePod features:
The ability for HomePod to recognize the voices of different family members to provide a personalized experience
Handoff music, podcasts or phone calls by bringing your iPhone close to HomePod
Add music to your HomeKit scenes
Play relaxing high-quality soundtracks with Ambient Sounds
Set sleep timers to fall asleep to music or Ambient Sounds
Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.