While Apple initially released their HomePod back in February 2018, odds are its purpose, secrets, and utility are still relatively unknown to the general population. Meaning, the majority of those who fully understand the product are more than likely brand devotees who work to get their hands on every update and product iteration the tech giant drops on a yearly basis. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. For as interesting as the HomePod is – quite frankly the most unique product they’ve sold in years in our opinion – the device doesn’t have to remain so much of an enigma as it is a helpful and utilitarian extension of your iPhone. Sounds simple right?
Well, that’s exactly the point we’re trying to make. And while there are several key Apple HomePod hacks to consider – the very purpose of this article mind you – what’s best about this engaged and compatible Siri-driven smart speaker is that as you habitually use the well-designed product, she’ll gain a further understanding of your personal tastes, preferences, and adaptability to the contemporary world of tech. Sounds creepy at first we know, but if convenience and streamlined smart homes are on the docket, then Apple’s HomePod is a fantastic foundation on which to build.
1. Manually Invoke Siri
While the whole point of the HomePod is versatile verbal commands, it’s worth pointing out that for those who don’t wish to summon Siri at the top of their lungs can manually invoke the assistant via a little touch sensitive screen at the top. Simply tap and hold and you’re all set.
2. Airplay Whatever You Want
Fortunately, for those committed to the Apple ecosystem, the HomePod can stream anything instantly from Apple Music using AirPlay. To do so, simply tap the AirPlay button on your iPhone or iPad while playing music and if you’re within range you can find the HomePod listed within the list of available devices. Best of all, with AirPlay 2 in the works, you’ll soon – if not already – be able to sync up multiple HomePods at once with separate devices.
3. Play Spotify
More of a Spotify fan? Not to worry, Apple has you covered as well. Just search under “Devices Available” within the Spotify app while playing a song and tap “More Devices.” Again, if you’re within range you should be able to select HomePod as a desired audio output.
4. Add Reminders
Nobody’s perfect. And with so many tasks and responsibilities to take care of on a daily basis we all could use a little reminder from time to time. In the case, Siri comes to the rescue. All you need to do is politely request via the following formula: “Hey Siri, add (task, item, etc) to my (list).
5. Take Notes
On the flip side, the HomePod acts as a digital notetaker as well. Much like the notes app on the iPhone, you can request Siri take a note by just asking her to do so.
6.Set Multiple Timers
Cooking, games, getting ready, showing up on time. They all have one thing in common: timelines. Here, make life easy using the Reminders app since you can’t technically set multiple timers at once with the HomePod, yet. In this instance, Siri never forgets to keep you posted as long as you ask her to remind you to do something in X minutes allowing for a seamless workaround.
7. Send Messages to Friends
Here’s a no-brainer. Because HomePod directly integrates with the iPhone messages app you can now enjoy a talk-to-text feature with a little help from the smart speaker. Just follow the formula: “Hey Siri, message (friend + text). You can also get Siri to read incoming messages as well – effectively turning the speaker into a vocal conduit between you and your friends.
8. Control Other Smart Home Devices
What’s also great about the HomePod is how compatible the device is with other smart home products. Just ensure these devices work with HomeKit and you’ve set them up appropriately so the HomePod can now control them. Once established, ask Siri for a little help like “turn on the lights,” and the automated system does the work for you.
Key Playback Options for HomePod
Control the Volume:
“Siri, increase volume by 75 percent.”
“Siri, lower volume by 50 percent.”
Change Volume From the Touchpad:
Plus and minus buttons on top of the device will allow you to manually adjust the volume.
Change Tracks From the Touchpad
Double tap the touchpad to skip to next track and triple tap to listen to the previous track.
9. Check Your Stock Portfolio
Curious about that status of your investments? No problems here. Just ask Siri how a particular stock is performing and she’ll relay the info to you right away.
10. Receive News Updates
Here’s one of our favorites. Keeping up to date with happenings the world-over is key to starting your day off on the right foot. Fortunately, Siri keeps up with the latest news as well and can give you a daily news briefing lasting about 10 minutes from reliable news sources at a moment’s notice. Just ask, “Hey Siri, what’s the latest news?”
11. Turn Off Personal Requests
As handy as personal requests can be on the HomePod, these convenient features can steer you wrong if a trickster decides to play a couple pranks. So, if you’re expecting company, simply open the Home app on your device, tap the Home button on the top right, tap your profile picture, tap “Personal Requests,” and then tap the toggle next to “Personal Requests” to the off position.
12. Control Playback Speed
Need a quicker or slower news briefing from Siri? No issues here. Just ask her to play faster or slower to accommodate your particular hearing needs and requests.
13. Restrict AirPlay Access
Those living in close quarters understand the occasion social invasion and sharing of goods. And while this can be fun from time to time, odds are you’re not keen on granting just anyone access to start AirPlaying whatever they want from the HomePod. So, if you care to restrict this access, start by opening the Home app and then tap on the Add Home button. From here, tap on “Allow Speaker Access” in the Speakers section and then change the setting to “Anyone on the Same Network” or “Only People Sharing this Home” to further restrict access to those who are either only connected to the Wifi or who you’ve previously shared HomePod with respectively. For even further restriction, you can implement a password to access AirPlay as well.
14. Mute HomePod
Sometimes it’s best to have a little privacy. In these instances, if you don’t care to have Apple recording your data, just ask Siri to stop listening and the HomePod’s microphones will disengage and turn off. At least that’s what we hope is happening.
15. Convert HomePod Into A Speaker Phone
Looking to enhance a call experience and free up your hands during a call? Just select HomePod from the audio choices during a call the same way you would a normal speaker and the device will instantly turn into a high-quality speakerphone for your convenience.
35 Essentials for Every Man's Home
Need some more tech and analog advice on what additions would suit the homestead? Look no further than this guide to 35 essentials for every man’s home. We’re sure you’ll find what you’re looking for here.