As smart speakers go, Apple’s HomePod has a few points making it stick out. It's better sound than most Alexa and Google Home devices. There are a variety of smart speakers made by audio companies that focus on sound quality, which include the capability to use one or even more from the voice assistants, but the HomePod is the only smart speaker that utilizes Siri. If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, this can be a compelling reason for doing things.

In this article, I’m going to let you know you skill with your HomePod: the best way to tell it to experience music, give you information, make telephone calls, and much more.

How to set up an Apple HomePod

To setup your HomePod, go to the Home app on an iOS device, tap Rooms, choose the room where you’ve assigned your HomePod, then press and hold on the HomePod’s tile. A play controller displays; swipe up, or tap the apparatus icon at the bottom from the screen, to see the device’s settings. Around the Mac, right-click around the HomePod’s tile and choose Settings.

You’ll see a number of settings here, such as the name from the device, the area where it’s located, and also the account it uses to access both music – for those who have Apple Music, or use Cloud Music Library – as well as your personal information.

Swipe down a bit to determine more settings:

Here, you’ll see Siri settings, location settings, and more. If you want to have the ability to use Hey Siri, you can toggle it on here; if not, you are able to enable an environment to gain access to Siri by tapping and holding the top device. You don’t need to use Siri; if not, you will simply have the ability to play music on the device by sending it from an iOS device or a Mac.

How to play or stream music on the HomePod

Obviously, the HomePod’s main use is to play music. You can do this with Siri in many ways. For example:

  • Hey Siri, play the new Taylor Swift album.
  • Hey Siri, play some upbeat music.
  • Hey Siri, play some classic rock.
  • Hey Siri, play the Frozen soundtrack.

You may also have Siri play your “personal radio station” if you are using Apple Music. Just say, “Hey Siri, play some music.” This will play a selection of music out of your music library, music you've loved, plus some related tracks. It’s a good way to play music whenever you don’t understand what you want to listen to.

How to transmit audio to some HomePod via AirPlay

But what if you want to play a bit of music on your iPhone, or play music from another app, such as Spotify? Since the HomePod is definitely an AirPlay speaker, you are able to stream music to it. To do this, start playing some music, then tap the round AirPlay icon at the bottom of the play screen. You’ll see an interface such as this; determine which speaker you need to play the music on. Here, I’m streaming music from my iPhone towards the HomePod in my living room.

Since I don’t like having Siri participating in my HomePods, I select music on my iPhone or iPad, then stream it to the HomePod in this manner.

Another way to do this is to start playing music in your iPhone, then bring the iPhone a few inches from the HomePod; this can “hand off” the background music to the HomePod, streaming it from that speaker.

Note that, in the above screenshot, the AirPlay interface enables you to be a musician and stream to multiple speakers, if you have HomePods, or other AirPlay speakers in multiple rooms, just tap each one to pick them.

While playing music on a HomePad, you are able to tell Siri to pause the background music or resume it, skip tracks, and you may also control the amount. The HomePod includes a seemingly miraculous hearing commands, even when the background music is loud. You can use the next:

  • Hey Siri, next song.
  • Hey Siri, allow it to be louder.
  • Hey Siri, set the volume to 50%.
  • Hey Siri, stop.

There are numerous other Siri commands you should use for music; see this Apple document for more.

How to play podcasts along with other audio on HomePod

You can also use Siri to inform the HomePod to play podcasts: “Hey Siri, play Outdoors.” Or you want to hear this news, say “Hey Siri, what’s in the news today?” You can request specific news sources, such as, “Hey Siri, play NPR News,” or “Hey Siri, take part in the sports news.”

The HomePod can also play some ambient sounds, such as rain, stream, forest, ocean, white-noise, fireplace, and night. Say, “Hey Siri, play forest sounds” to possess a relaxing background.

How to manage your house with HomePod

Anything that you can do with Siri with an iPhone or iPad can also be available through the HomePod, and this includes controlling smart devices in your home. For instance, if you’ve set up some smart lights in your home app, you are able to tell Siri to turn them on or off:

  • Hey Siri, switch on the living room lights.
  • Hey Siri, switch off the outdoor light.

Siri can control any HomeKit compatible device; check this out Apple document for additional around the Home app and Siri.

And as we mentioned in another recent article, you can even use your HomePod like a HomeKit hub:

Personal requests: Using HomePod as a virtual assistant

The HomePod can also handle “personal requests,” which means it may work with your messages, reminders, contacts, calendars, and notes. To use this selection, you must switch on Personal Requests within the settings; begin to see the second screenshot above.

One Siri feature which i make use of all the time is reminders. When I’m cooking, and need to perform a task, I have Siri remind me. I say, “Hey Siri, remind me to check the oven in Twenty minutes.”

But Siri can also do much more. Here are some examples:

  • Hey Siri, read my unread messages.
  • Hey Siri, send a message to Angela, saying that I’ll be 10 mins late for our appointment.
  • Hey Siri, add cardamom to my shopping list.
  • Hey Siri, give a note called “Items to fix,” and Hey Siri, add “Replace kitchen light bulbs” to my “Items to fix” note.
  • Hey Siri, what’s on my small calendar today?

You may also set timers; this really is great in the kitchen. Say “Hey Siri, set a timer for 3 minutes,” so your boiled eggs is going to be just exactly right.

And use alarms to possess Siri wake you in the morning. “Hey Siri, wake me up at 6:30 am.” But if you don’t would like to get up out of bed right away, say “Hey Siri, snooze.”

For more about using Siri around the HomePod, see this Apple document.

How to create and answer telephone calls around the HomePod

The HomePod can’t make telephone calls itself, but when you've your iPhone nearby, it may be the speakerphone. In case your phone rings, say, “Hey Siri, answer the phone,” and you’ll be able to talk to your correspondent. When you’re finished, say “Hey Siri, hang up,” or tap the top HomePod.

To call people, you can say, “Hey Siri, call Max,” if you have a contact named Max, or even read out a phone number, saying “Hey Siri, call 555-1247.”

As you’ve seen above, the HomePod is a great method to be a musician but is also a powerful tool for using Siri. Find out about its many features so you can leverage it to make your entire day smoother.

How can I find out more?

To learn more about the Apple HomePod, be sure to take a look at our full review here:

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