HomePod tidbits: stereo pairing, alarms, access controls, software updates, Apple Music & more

Having combed through the newly updated HomePod firmware files, Brazilian developer Guilherme Rambo has been able to discover a few previously unknown tidbits regarding Apple’s Siri-powered smart speaker launching this December.

Here are some of the most important findings:

  • You’ll be able to replace the default alarm sound with a song from Apple Music
  • Apple’s Home app will let you install a software update to all of your HomePods at once
  • You can adjust who has access to HomePod controls: people on the same LAN, only people sharing your home, everyone or only password-protected users
  • A dedicated setting in the Home app lets you choose whether songs played on HomePod are added to your profile and influence recommendations

Setting up two HomePods as a stereo pair will be easy: when pairing a second HomePod, you’ll tap the Use as Stereo Pair option on the card on your iPhone and decide if you’d like to use that HomePod as the right or left stereo channel.

“For enhanced sound quality, use these speakers as a stereo pair,” reads the card.

Once you set up your HomePod, Siri will greet you with an amusing welcome message, stating “Hi, I’m Siri, it sure is great to be out of that box.”

Some of the Siri queries you’ll be able to run on HomePod:

  • “Hey Siri, what can you do?”
  • “Turn on the lights”
  • “Play some music”
  • “Tell me the news”
  • “What’s the forecast?”

Lastly, Guilherme has discovered a few new tones that HomePod will use to indicate various actions to the user that are different from those unearthed from a previous firmware build.

Apple earlier this week announced SiriKit for HomePod which will let the device process full Siri queries on a synchronized iPhone or iPad for things like Messages, Lists and Notes.

Priced at $349, HomePod is launching in December.

Plan on getting one?

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