In line with the HomePod public launch, Apple has posted the HomePod User Guide. The guide covers what to do when you first unbox the HomePod as well as what kind of things to ask it, from music questions to smart assistant features like driving traffic, weather, and alarms.
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The guide covers how to set up the HomePod, which mirrors the AirPods set up process. Simply bring an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.5 or later near to the HomePod to connect.
Apple says that in some cases the pairing popup screens do not appear automatically. If this is the case, try opening the Home App, tap the ‘+’ and then ‘Add Accessory’. Then select the ‘Don’t Have a Code or Can’t Scan?’ option. This will show a list of nearby HomeKit accessories, which should include the new HomePod.
The user guide also explains all the different gestures you can use to control HomePod if you don’t want to use your voice, like double-tap for next track.
To continue to advanced HomePod options, find the HomePod title in the Home app. Press on the tile and tap the Details button. This reveals options for changing the Siri voice, turning off the lights, explicit content options and more.
In terms of what you can ask the HomePod, for music playback, you can just say ‘Hey Siri, play some music’ and Apple Music will start a personalized playlist customized to your listening taste.
If you have a specific artist or song in mind, just ask Siri to play it. If the song being played has been covered by other artists, you can ask HomePod to play different versions: ‘Hey Siri, play the other version’.
You can also ask to play certain music genres, as well as music from a particular decade. If you are listening to something that you like, you can ask Siri to ‘add it to your library’ which will save content to your personal Apple Music collection.
To play podcasts, ask HomePod ‘Hey Siri, play the podcast [name of podcast]. If you like listening to shows at more than 1x speed, you can say ‘Hey Siri, play this faster’.
In terms of HomePod smart assistant features, the user guide suggests asking HomePod trivia, traffic conditions, set alarms and timers, check the weather, find out sports scores, check stock prices and do unit conversions. You can see even more of these suggestions in the Tips app.
Enable Personal Requests to allow HomePod to communicate with your iPhone for using Messages, Reminders and Notes.
If you send a text through HomePod, if the person replies within a few minutes HomePod will make an alert sound to let you know that the person has responded.
Obviously, this is a brief summary of what the User Guide explores. Apple usually releases versions for the iBooks app too, but that doesn’t seem to be available just yet. For now, check out the HomePod User Guide on the web.