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HomePod Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Article ID = 176
Article Title = HomePod Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
Article Author(s) = Graham Needham (BH)
Article Created On = 5th June 2017
Article Last Updated = 13th September 2018
Article URL = https://www.macstrategy.com/article.php?176

Article Brief Description:
Frequently Asked Questions about the HomePod
Q. What is the HomePod?
A. The HomePod is a high quality speaker system with Apple Music/Siri integration.
Q. When will the HomePod be available to buy?
A. It is available to buy in the following countries:
  • France
  • Germany
  • United KIngdom
  • Spain (from 26th October 2018)
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • USA
  • Mexico (from 26th October 2018)
Q. What colours is the HomePod available in?
A. Space grey or white.
Q. How does the HomePod connect to my network/the internet?
A. Via wireless/Wi-Fi connectivity (802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO).
Q. What are the requirements for using a HomePod?
A. The following are required:
  • 802.11 Wi-Fi Internet access
  • iOS 11.2.5 or later running on an:
    • iPhone 5s or later
    • or iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later
    • or iPod touch (6th generation)
Q. Will the HomePod require an Apple Music subscription?
A. An Apple Music subscription is not required but Apple states an Apple Music subscription is required "for full music functionality".
Q. Will the HomePod work with iTunes Home Sharing?
A. No.
Q. If an Apple Music subscription is not required and iTunes Home Sharing does not work how do I play music/audio?
A. You can play music/audio from :
  • iTunes Music Purchases
  • iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription
  • Beats 1 Live Radio
  • Podcasts
…or you can use "Airplay" to directly play music/audio from other supported hardware. Apple lists the following:
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod touch
  • Apple TV
  • Mac
…with the following audio formats supported:
  • HE-AAC (V1)
  • AAC (16 to 320 Kbps)
  • protected AAC (from iTunes Store)
  • MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps)
  • MP3 VBR
  • Apple Lossless
  • AIFF
  • WAV
  • FLAC
Q. Does the HomePod work as a BlueTooth speaker?
A. No.
Q. Can the HomePod work with iPhone features?
A. Yes - HomePod can be used as a speakerphone with iPhone for crisp and clear audio quality.
Q. Does the HomePod support messaging/third party apps?
A. Yes - Through SiriKit, HomePod supports third-party messaging apps, so users can ask Siri to send a message to a friend or colleague using apps like WhatsApp. Reminders, note-taking and to-do list apps like Things and Evernote will automatically work with HomePod, so Siri can set reminders, create a new list, mark items as complete, or create and modify notes.
Q. Does the HomePod support AirPlay?
A. Yes - in fact it uses the new AirPlay 2 protocol. AirPlay 2 became available with iOS 11.4 or later.
Q. Does the HomePod support multiple speakers (around the house)?
A. Yes - they link to any speakers that support AirPlay 2. Multi-room speaker support requires AirPlay 2 which became available with iOS 11.4 or later.
Q. I'm a Hi-Fi buff and prefer listening to music in proper stereo rather than 360° sound, so this isn't for me right?
A. If there's more than one HomePod set up in the same room, the speakers can be set up as a stereo pair for an even more immersive sound experience. Stereo speaker support requires AirPlay 2 which became available with iOS 11.4 or later.
Q. If Siri is listening all the time is Apple uploading what I say to their servers/listening to me?
Q. What about my privacy?
A. The HomePod only records when you say "Hey Siri" and even then what is uploaded to Apple is anonymised and utilises end-to-end encryption to secure the data transfer.
Q. How do I know when Siri is recording?
A. There is an LED on the top of the HomePod that lights up when Siri is recording.
Q. If the HomePod is playing audio/music does "Hey Siri" still work?
A. Yes.
Q. Does the HomePod do anything else other than play audio/music?
A. Yes. It has Siri so Siri can be used for all sorts of questions and answers without any audio/music being involved. In addition a HomePod can be used as a HomeKit hub to control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories.
Q. Has Apple added new features over time via software updates?
A. Yes:
On 28th October 2019 Apple added the following new features via iOS 13.2:
  • The ability for HomePod to recognize the voices of different family members to provide a personalized experience
  • Handoff music, podcasts or phone calls by bringing your iPhone close to HomePod
  • Add music to your HomeKit scenes
  • Play relaxing high-quality soundtracks with Ambient Sounds
  • Set sleep timers to fall asleep to music or Ambient Sounds

During 2019 Apple added the following new features:
  • Support for HomePod in China mainland, Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan
  • HomePod LEDs illuminate during Group FaceTime calls
  • Support for joining some types of enterprise networks that require unique credentials

On 17th September 2018 Apple added the following new features via iOS 12:
  • Conveniently search for a song using the lyrics if you can’t remember the title (English only)
  • Create multiple named timers
  • Make and receive phone calls directly on HomePod, or simply ask Siri who is calling
  • Similar to Apple Watch, Find My iPhone on HomePod allows you to quickly locate any of your iOS or macOS devices with an audible ping
  • Calendar support to include all languages
  • View the network name in Settings
  • Siri Shortcuts
  • Additional language support:
    • Spanish in the US, Spain and Mexico
    • Canadian French

On 29th May 2018 Apple added the following new features via iOS 11.4:
  • Place two HomePod in the same room and create a stereo pair
  • Each HomePod in a pair automatically senses its location in the room
  • Advanced beamforming provides wider soundstage than traditional stereo pair
  • Use AirPlay 2 to play the same song everywhere or different songs in different rooms to multiple HomePod and other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers
  • Schedule, cancel, and stay up to date with your Calendar appointments (available in US, UK, Australia)
Q. How do I update my HomePod?
A. By default, HomePod should install updates automatically (as long as it is connected to the internet). You can also check manually.

Article Keywords: HomePod iTunes iCloud Siri AirPlay

This article is © MacStrategy » a trading name of Burning Helix. Apple, the Apple logo, and Mac are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


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