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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has released iOS 14.1 for the iPhone and for the HomePod. These software updates bring new features and improvements. They are free to download over the air for all eligible devices.

The biggest change is Intercom, announced during Apple's October event. It is now available for all HomePod models. With Intercom, you can send real-time audio messages from one HomePod to another, if they're in the same home. To update your HomePod to iOS 14.1, go into the Home app on your iOS device: Tap the House icon >Tap Home Settings > tap Software Update > Tap Update (All).

Eventually, you will be able to use HomePod's Intercom feature with your iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, AirPods, Apple Watch, and CarPlay, through iCloud Family, so you’ll be able to record and relay a message anywhere.

As a HomePod user, you can also now get Maps suggestions when you ask Siri about a specific location, and you can open search results from HomePod on your iPhone via Handoff. Apple has updated the timer and alarm feature on the HomePod, as well, so that it lets you change settings for all your HomePods using Siri. You can even set a song from Apple Music as your alarm.

Finally, with iOS 14 and HomePod Software 14.1, Apple is letting you change your default music, podcasts, and audiobooks apps.

Here's the full list of changes in Apple's release notes:

  • HomePod mini
    • Setup and automatically transfer your Apple ID, Apple Music, Siri, and Wi-Fi settings to HomePod mini.
  • Siri
    • Siri suggestions appear in Maps when you ask HomePod for information about a location.
    • Web search requests to HomePod can be sent from HomePod to your iPhone.
    • Siri can now stop alarms, timers, and media across HomePod speakers.
    • Voice recognition support for Podcasts for multiple users in the home.
  • Intercom
    • Ask HomePod to make announcements to other HomePod speakers throughout your home.
    • Intercom to all HomePod speakers.
    • Intercom to a HomePod in a specific room or zone.
  • Other:
    • Add music to your alarms and wake up to your personal song, playlist, or radio station from Apple Music.
    • Fixes an issue where stereo pairs can sometimes play out of sync.
    • Improves reliability when using Siri to control multiple speakers.
    • Optimises Siri performance.

If you'd like to know more about iOS 14 and HomePod, check out our guides:

Future-proof your home with Swann's connected Wi-Fi Alert Sensors

Writing by Maggie Tillman.