Everything new with HomePod in iOS 13

Posted:
in iOS
Alongside iOS 13 and macOS Catalina, the HomePod will be gaining an array of new features making it a far more capable device. Let's go through all the new features arriving for HomePod with iOS 13.

HomePod
Black and white HomePods


HomePod got a few moments in the spotlight during Apple's annual developer conference and it was enough to show how much potential the HomePod still has left untapped.

Multiple users

One of the most requested features of HomePod was support for recognizing multiple voices. When in a multi-person environment, there was no way for HomePod to tell who was giving it commands or who's music library or recommendations to go by. Apple worked around this by allowing HomePod to not influence the primary user's Apple Music library, but that wasn't a suitable long-term solution.

Fortunately, multi-user support was added, and heralded as one of the biggest changes coming to HomePod in the new update. It will now recognize who is speaking, and will tailor its responses appropriately.

When someone asks about reminders, calendar, or music it will now know which information set to look for.

Tighter integrations

Apple's integration between hardware and software across its entire device portfolio is second-to-none. That is well exemplified with the new HomePod updates.

HomePod
HomePod


Handoff is coming to HomePod, which is absolutely the best way to transfer audio to and from Apple's smart home speaker. Say a user walks into the room with music playing on their phone. They simply need to just tap their phone near the top of HomePod and the audio will then be passed from the phone to HomePod.

This works equally well with a phone call. When heading out, a user taking a phone call on HomePod can just tap their phone, transferring the call to their iPhone as they walk out the door.

Automation integration

Furthering that integration, HomePod is now more tightly tied to HomeKit and Shortcuts in iOS 13. In the Home app, the HomePod now has a new interface that displays the currently playing content as well as controls.

It is also capable of being included in scenes and automation rules. This could be as simple as having the HomePod turn on and play your workout music in your home gym when you start to exercise or more intricately you can have your morning playlist kickoff once you hit "off" on your alarm in the AM.

The Shortcuts app is far more robust this time around so there is much more that can be done to integrate HomePod into your life.

Apple has yet to roll out a HomePod beta software set. We'll be looking closer at all of these features as soon as we can.

Previous updates

HomePod
HomePod


Apple last updated HomePod in September when it added the ability to search songs by lyrics, set multiple timers, make and receive phone calls and more.

HomePod got a price cut earlier this year, down to $299 from $349.

Apple will be releasing the 13.0 software update to HomePod this fall alongside iOS 13, iPadOS, watchOS 6, macOS 10.15 Catalina, and tvOS 13.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    AlinAlin Posts: 10member
    Did anyone actually tried iOS 13 in HomePod or they don’t make beta for this and will only be release with the official software? 
  • Reply 2 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,008administrator
    Alin said:
    Did anyone actually tried iOS 13 in HomePod or they don’t make beta for this and will only be release with the official software? 
    No beta yet.
    caladanian
  • Reply 3 of 31
    luxuriantluxuriant Posts: 25member
    But wait! there's more:

    • Access to over 100,000 new music stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com and TuneIn.

    • Sleep timer.

    The lack of those meant there was no way I would buy a HomePod. Mind, I probably won't even now, unless I get even more annoyed at Sonos' incessant content-free updates than I am now. 
    davenwilliamlondonAppleExposed
  • Reply 4 of 31
    22july201322july2013 Posts: 837member
    luxuriant said:

    The lack of those meant there was no way I would buy a HomePod. Mind, I probably won't even now, unless I get even more annoyed at Sonos' incessant content-free updates than I am now. 
    I'm liking my HomePod. In fact, I find that with the HomePod I'm feeling less of a need to wear my Apple Watch (Series 2). I can talk to my sole HomePod from nearly anywhere in the house, and it doesn't require pushing a button. So I'm Plus on HomePod and Minus on Watch. 
    AppleExposed
  • Reply 5 of 31
    All I need is Spotify support (not Airplay through phone) and Siri being able to play whatever Spotify song I request. 
    caladanianwilliamlondon
  • Reply 6 of 31
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,008administrator
    All I need is Spotify support (not Airplay through phone) and Siri being able to play whatever Spotify song I request. 
    It looks like the ball is going to be in Spotify's court on that.

    caladaniann2itivguybeowulfschmidt
  • Reply 7 of 31
    jonrojonro Posts: 50member
    Apparently, we still can’t use stereo HomePods with Safari or other apps. Nor will stereo HomePods work with phone calls. It’s the only Apple product I regret buying. 
    ttollertonwilliamlondon
  • Reply 8 of 31
    davendaven Posts: 548member
    luxuriant said:
    But wait! there's more:

    • Access to over 100,000 new music stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com and TuneIn.

    • Sleep timer.

    The lack of those meant there was no way I would buy a HomePod. Mind, I probably won't even now, unless I get even more annoyed at Sonos' incessant content-free updates than I am now. 
    The addition of the 'radio' stations is a huge one for me. That adds a lot of content that doesn't come at a monthly premium. I picked up a HomePod to improve the sound of the TV in my bedroom and find it quite useful. Decent sound really makes movies enjoyable with the added benefit of being able to turn on or off the light so I don't have to walk around in the dark when my dog wakes me up. 
    caladanianStrangeDaysAppleExposed
  • Reply 9 of 31
    hagarhagar Posts: 113member
    Why tap your iPhone on the HomePods to transfer an active call to it, when you can simply tap the green bar on top of your screen?
    lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 31
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,529member
    daven said:
    luxuriant said:
    But wait! there's more:

    • Access to over 100,000 new music stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com and TuneIn.

    • Sleep timer.

    The lack of those meant there was no way I would buy a HomePod. Mind, I probably won't even now, unless I get even more annoyed at Sonos' incessant content-free updates than I am now. 
    The addition of the 'radio' stations is a huge one for me. That adds a lot of content that doesn't come at a monthly premium. 
    I've been able to hear my two favorite local radio stations on my Echo Dot for awhile. One is news/weather/traffic and the other is music. That latter is just ok on the Dot.

    I don't want to plug in  or BT speakers to it, so this playing my music station on my HomePod is also huge for me to.This will make me very happy.

    Being able to hand off music from my phone is – ok. I don't see myself using that feature. I may AirDrop from time to time, but that will be a rare occasion.

    What I really want, what I really really want is to AirDrop or Hand Off my iTune music library on my Mac to my HomePod. That would be huge too.

    What would be even mo betta would be to control my Mac's iTunes library from my phone while it plays on my HomePod.

    What would be even mo mo betta would be to be able to create a smart playlist on the HomePod such as:

    'Hey Siri, play all (or 25) blues songs that has less than 50bpm and hasn't been played in the last month, from 1970 to 1986.

    It could stay on the HomePod; I wouldn't need to move it to my Mac.
  • Reply 11 of 31
    boboliciousbobolicious Posts: 621member
    "It will now recognize who is speaking..."

     

    Share control of your home - Apple Support
    edited June 9
  • Reply 12 of 31
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,529member

    hagar said:
    Why tap your iPhone on the HomePods to transfer an active call to it, when you can simply tap the green bar on top of your screen?
    I imagine that would only cost you and extra tap. But in the  age of ultra convenience, I could imaged more than a couple users might have the HomePod conveniently located so that when then walk by they can just pull the phone out of a pocket and Tap the HP in passing, and put the phone away again.

    I see that as one of those little things like wireless charging. Sure it only takes a couple extra seconds to pick up a cable and plug it in. But to just plop the phone down on a pad or easel without having to stop and plug in the cabe, is a convenience that makes for a not fully appreciatd until experienced.
  • Reply 13 of 31
    imatimat Posts: 169member
    Any news on expansion of supported languages?
  • Reply 14 of 31
    All I need is Spotify support (not Airplay through phone) and Siri being able to play whatever Spotify song I request. 
    It looks like the ball is going to be in Spotify's court on that.

    That is great news!
    Although reading the article, it seems a bit of a risk for those streaming platforms to develop if they aren’t sure what Apple’s stance is:

    If the media intents remain available to use by developers at the time of iOS 13's release, along with iPadOS this fall, it opens up the possibility for other music streaming services to take advantage of Siri.”

    [..]But the change could enable the functionality to work in rival apps like Spotify and Pandora.

    Hope the “if” and “could” can change into “will” :-)
    edited June 9
  • Reply 15 of 31
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,823member
    macgui said:
    daven said:
    luxuriant said:
    But wait! there's more:

    • Access to over 100,000 new music stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com and TuneIn.

    • Sleep timer.

    The lack of those meant there was no way I would buy a HomePod. Mind, I probably won't even now, unless I get even more annoyed at Sonos' incessant content-free updates than I am now. 
    The addition of the 'radio' stations is a huge one for me. That adds a lot of content that doesn't come at a monthly premium. 
    I've been able to hear my two favorite local radio stations on my Echo Dot for awhile. One is news/weather/traffic and the other is music. That latter is just ok on the Dot.

    I don't want to plug in  or BT speakers to it, so this playing my music station on my HomePod is also huge for me to.This will make me very happy.

    Being able to hand off music from my phone is – ok. I don't see myself using that feature. I may AirDrop from time to time, but that will be a rare occasion.

    What I really want, what I really really want is to AirDrop or Hand Off my iTune music library on my Mac to my HomePod. That would be huge too.

    What would be even mo betta would be to control my Mac's iTunes library from my phone while it plays on my HomePod.
    If I’m understanding your wish correctly, you can already do this — you can absolutely beam your Mac’s iTunes music output to the HP. And, you can use the Remote app on your iphone or ipad to control playback of the Mac/iTunes as its playing back on the HP. 

    As for radio stations, many stations are already listed in the iTunes radio directory and thus on Apple Music now. I know my local public radio stations are, I can ask the HP to play them. 
  • Reply 16 of 31
    wattoukwattouk Posts: 31member
    FINALLY! A meaty update which makes it worth buying! I've just ordered one. 

    No radio was a big thing for me but with that addition, user recognition and the tap to transfer music/call has sold me. 

    I live in a house with google home mini and echos but now I'll finally be able to use HomePod as it was intended. Fingers crossed that Siri is getting a bit smarter too but I won't hold my breath.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,154member
    hagar said:
    Why tap your iPhone on the HomePods to transfer an active call to it, when you can simply tap the green bar on top of your screen?

    We are given both options but I admit the idea of tapping the pod with phone to transfer music when walk by from door is super convenient for me because it can be done with one hand, one single movement, and zero second to lose. 




  • Reply 18 of 31
    since84since84 Posts: 4member
    What is bugging me is that you cannot adjust the volume from the iPhone/iPad, when another person has started the music. You can start/stop. But not the volume. You can do this on Sonos! Anybody knows about IOS 13?
  • Reply 19 of 31
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,529member
    ...
    edited June 10
  • Reply 20 of 31
    davendaven Posts: 548member

    As for radio stations, many stations are already listed in the iTunes radio directory and thus on Apple Music now. I know my local public radio stations are, I can ask the HP to play them. 
    How do you do that? Can you step me through the process?h

    Edit: simpler than I thought. - But my station isn't available until the update.


    edited June 10
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