Apple’s HomePod smart speaker is reportedly getting a number of new features in an upcoming update, including the ability to (finally) make and receive calls.
The calling feature is likely to attract the most attention, allowing users to link their iPhones to the HomePod to make calls to mobile and landline numbers. The HomePod was light on functionality when it launched in late 2017, and Apple is presumably hoping the new features will help shift more units of the device.
The report also pointed to improved translation features, tracking features for locating your iPhone, and the ability to switch WiFi networks without entirely resetting the device.
All the kids are doing it
In contrast to the HomePod, Amazon’s Echo range of smart speakers is already able to make calls and send text messages to other Alexa-enabled devices.
Users in the United States can also now expand this capability with the Amazon Echo Connect, an Echo accessory that enables you to make calls to standard landlines and mobile phones, including international and emergency calls – with an expectation that the accessory will come to the UK and Europe in the coming months.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.