Apple has rolled out the next update to its iOS 11 software for iPhone and iPad. The version iOS 11.2.5 brings support for HomePod – Apple’s first-ever smart home speaker, turns Siri into a newsreader in some regions, and much more.
If you are on a iOS 11 compatible device, you can head straight to Settings -> General -> Software Update, and manually install iOS 11.2.5. Ensure that your device is plugged in for charging, and you are connected to a Wi-Fi as the update is around 170MB in size.
As part of the update, you will be able to set up the HomePod (which will be launched on February 9 in select regions). With the compatible and updated device, you will be able to automatically take on all details including Apple ID, Apple Music, Siri, and Wi-Fi settings to the smart speaker.
Another interesting addition this time around is a new feature added to Siri. The voice-based assistant will now be able to read out news to you. You simply need to instruct, “Hey Siri, read the news”. Apple has added the ability to pick specific news topics for reading such as Business, Sports, or Music. As the update brings support for HomePod, the news-consuming experience is likely to reach a different level. Sadly, this feature is available only in the US, UK, and Australia. It is unclear if the ability will be rolled out to users in India.
With iOS 11.2.5, some past bugs and issues have also been quashed as well. The update addresses the issue that caused the Phone app to display incomplete information in the call list. It also attempts to fix the issue that caused Mail notifications from some Exchange accounts to disappear from the Lock screen when particularly unlocking the iPhone X using Face ID.
Previously, an issue caused the Messages conversations to temporarily be listed out of order. The new update fixes that, along with fixing an issue in CarPlay where Now Playing controls would become unresponsive after multiple track changes. In addition to that, the update brings the ability for VoiceOver to announce playback destinations, and AirPod battery level.
The biggest takeaway undoubtedly is the support for HomePod. The voice-based smart home speaker will launch on February 9, with pre-orders starting from January 26. The smart speaker will initially go on sale in the US, UK, and Australia. It’ll then arrive in France and Germany sometime this spring. It will retail at $349 (Rs 22,200 approximately), and will be available in two color choices of white and space gray.