How to transfer music, podcasts and calls between iPhone and HomePod

Transfer audio from iPhone to HomePod

Thanks to Apple’s excellent Handoff feature, you can quite easily transfer audio between your iPhone and your HomePod wireless speaker. That includes music, podcasts and even phone calls. In this step-by-step tutorial, we’re going to show you how to transfer audio from your iPhone to your HomePod, and vice versa.

Apple’s Handoff technology lets you start work on one device and instantly pick up where you left off on other devices without losing focus on what you’re doing. It works with compatible devices, all signed into the same Apple ID. On iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, the app you need appears at the bottom of the app switcher. On your Mac, it appears in the Dock.

Simply tap an app to pick up right where you left off. Due to the absence of a user interface on the HomePod speaker, Handoff on HomePod automatically opens the right app.

Transfer audio from iPhone to HomePod
With iOS 13 and iPadOS, you can easily send music, podcasts and phone calls from an iOS device to your HomePod.

The ability to hand off audio between iPhone and HomePod was first made available to customers with the release of iOS 13 and iPadOS updates for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, and the iOS 13.2.1 update for the HomePod wireless speaker in October 2019.

ROUNDUP: How to use all the new features in iOS 13.2

If your devices are running updated software, you will be able to easily hand off the following items from an iOS device to your HomePod, and vice versa:

  • Music
  • Podcasts
  • Phone calls
  • Audio from other apps

Follow along with iDownloadBlog’s step-by-step instructions right ahead to learn how to hand off your music, podcasts or phone calls between your phone and HomePod speaker.

Handoff prerequisites

This feature requires the following devices and software:

  • iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 13 or later
  • iPad with iPadOS or later
  • HomePod with the iOS 13.2.1 update or later

Before you can use this feature, be sure that Handoff has been enabled.

To verify that Handoff is on, venture to Settings → General → AirPlay & Handoff on your iPhone or iPod touch with the iOS 13 software or later, or on your iPad with iPadOS, and make sure that the Handoff and Transfer to HomePod switches have been slid to the ON position.

Transfer music from iPhone to HomePod
Be sure that both options are turned on!

In addition, Handoff also requires that both the phone and the speaker are signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID and that your iOS device has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned on.

You can see the Apple ID your iPhone uses to access iCloud services in the Settings app.

Transfer podcasts from iPhone to HomePod
The email address associated with my Apple ID has been blurred out for privacy reasons.

Just hit your profile picture at the top of the list and the email address associated with your Apple ID get shown at the screen top. Wrong Apple ID? No problem, tap Sign Out at the very bottom of the screen and then sign back in with an appropriate Apple ID.

The Apple ID used by your HomePod is shown in the Home app.

Transfer phone calls from iPhone to HomePod

Open the Home app on your iPhone/iPod touch with iOS 13 or iPad with iPadOS.

Next, press or tap and hold your HomePod speaker shown underneath the heading Favorite Accessories in the Home tab, then tap the cog icon in the lower-right corner. If no HomePod is listed in favorites, choose the Rooms tab and hit the hamburger icon in the top-left corner to select the room where your Siri wireless speaker is located in.

The Apple ID account associated with this HomePod is shown next to Default Account underneath the Music & Podcasts heading. If that’s not the same Apple ID account like the one used on your iPhone, tap Default Account and choose Change Default Account, then confirm the operation. You can now sign back in with the right Apple ID account.

Transfer audio iPhone HomePod
Your iPhone and HomePod must be on the same Wi-Fi network for Handoff to work.

After you have double-checked that your iOS device and HomePod are both signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID account, it’s time to verify that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are enabled on your iOS device, which can be done in Settings → Wi-Fi and Settings → Bluetooth.

On HomePod, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are always on.

Remember that the devices must be on the same Wi-Fi network. Handoff uses Bluetooth for proximity information, meaning it “just works” when the devices are near each other.

How to transfer audio from iPhone to HomePod

With Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Handoff on and your devices signed in to iCloud with the same Apple ID account, you can send phone calls or audio from the Music or Podcasts app on your iPhone to the HomePod speaker.

To do so, first play some music in the Music app on your iPhone, start listening to a podcast in the Apple Podcasts app or initiate/accept a phone call in the Phone app (or any other app that integrates with it by using Apple’s CallKit framework, like WhatsApp or Skype, for example).

Transfer audio from iPhone to HomePod

With your audio playing or the phone call active, bring your iPhone close to your HomePod. Simply holding the phone near the top of your HomePod will do the trick.

The audio stops on the phone and resumes playing on HomePod right where you left off.

You can use Handoff to transfer audio from Music, Podcasts or another audio app, like Phone. To take your audio with you, simply move the iOS device away from your wireless speaker.

Far away from HomePod or have iOS 12 or earlier? Peruse our separate tutorial to learn how to transfer thee audio to HomePod to use your speaker as a speakerphone.

Need help? Ask iDB!

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