Experts may be right to blame a large price tag and the lack of features for the recent dismal HomePod sales. But Apple Inc. could be gearing up to quench the latter blame.
Apple would be including some notable features to its HomePod smart speaker powered by Siri, according to iGeneration. The new additions would include its ability to make and receive phone calls. The French site made claims that it spotted a couple of new functions while reviewing the device’s new iOS 12-based software, disclosing that the functions will be enabled on HomePod after a firmware update.
With the claims being correct, HomePod users will soon be able to make and receive phone calls on the speaker, provided it’s paired with their iPhones. They will also be able to fix connection challenges and make different Wi-Fi connections without resetting the device, locate their iPhones, search for call logs, translate text messages, manage multiple timers, listen to voicemail, and more.
While HomePod costs a little more than its rival Alexa-powered Amazon and Google Home, the device has only failed to match the number of features available on the rivals. Since its introduction in December 2017, Apple has only been able to include a control for multi-room audio and the support for streaming via AirPlay 2 in May which is several months after the smart speaker became available. Meanwhile, HomePod rivals have been receiving frequent updates which have enabled them to gained additional functions such as intercom, support for calls, ability to guide users through recipes and to find their phones. In addition, the Siri-powered speaker’s assistant functionality has faced fierce criticism following its inability to pair multiple speakers for stereo output or play music simultaneously in different rooms – a feature offered by rival speakers by Amazon and Google.
Apple’s HomePod ($350) had only 19% of voice-activated smart speaker market in the US as of April, with the sales growing worse, according to market research firm Slice Intelligence. However, the 7-inch tall speaker retains pride in sound quality delivered through a 4-inch woofer and 7 beam-tweeters powered by the same chip, A8 found in iPhone 6.
HomePod software update release date
It is not yet clear when the HomePod software update would be available for consumers. But we are expecting the next HomePod update to be released in fall 2018 when Apple releases iOS 12. iGen also alleged that the device’s international marketing is sharing the same pace with Apple Watch Cellular, considerable slow. That could be changed at the release of iOS 12 for HomePod and equally establish avenues for its sales in many other countries.