Apple has been working on a smart speaker for years in an attempt to compete with Google Home and Amazon Echo. The Cupertino company took a big step to achieve that goal when it launched the HomePod last month. The HomePod was initially scheduled for public release in December 2017, but it was later delayed to February 2018.
The new speaker puts Apple in contention with Google and Amazon in the smart speaker market. Apple’s smart speaker has its own features and skills that set it apart from its tough rivals out there. One such feature lies in its excellent audio quality.
The HomePod marks Apple’s huge focus on music, with Apple Music integration and built-in Siri support. To help you get the most out of Apple’s smart speaker, we have created a list of the best tips and tricks for your speaker. For some background, the HomePod is now available in the US, UK, and Australia. Apple is expecting to launch the speaker globally in 2018.
Set a timer
Like Google Home and Amazon Echo, the HomePod includes the ability to set a timer. This comes in handy if you frequently rely on your smartphone as your only alarm clock.
To set a timer with HomePod, you simply need to say: “Hey Siri, set a timer for + time”. When you finish setting your timer, you can ask when the timer finish by asking “Hey Siri, when does the timer finish?”
Control your smart home appliances
The Apple HomePod can act as a remote control that allows you to take a full control of your smart home appliances using your voice, ranging from turning on the lights to turning up the volume.
To turn on the lights, simply say “Hey Siri, turn on the lights in the living room”. You can also lock the door by simply asking “Hey Siri, lock the front door.”
The HomePod can work perfectly with a vast number of connected devices like Philips Hue, HomeKit-enabled devices, or Tado heating system.
Send text messages and change Siri’s voice
One of the highlights of the smart speaker lies in the ability to send text messages, without the need for an iPhone nearby. To send text messages with HomePod, you simply say: “Hey Siri, send a message to + person”. Before proceeding, make sure the recipient is in your contacts.
The HomePod features built-in Siri support, thus offering a faster way to control your home and enjoy your music. You can easily change Siri’s voice to your preferred English. To do this, launch the Home app on your iOS device, then hold down the HomePod icon and tap Details. After that, select your desired option.
Make phone calls
There is no direct way to make phone calls from the HomePod. However, you can use your iPhone and turn your smart speaker into the output. To do this, launch the Phone app on your iPhone, and then call someone. When the call is in progress, hit Audio and select the HomePod icon.
Keep up with the latest news with HomePod
With HomePod, you can quickly get news reports without the need for an iPhone or computer. To do this, simply say: “Hey Siri, what’s the news?” and Siri will give you the latest happenings from multiple sources. You can also change the news source to your desired sources by simply asking: “Hey Siri, change the news source to + your preferred news source.”
Also read: How to remove duplicate contacts on your Mac
Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below.