HomePod Does the HomePod auto power-off?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by Pagemakers, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Pagemakers macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #1
    I am considering a HomePod for the kitchen. I would like to also attach it to an Amazon Echo via Bluetooth.

    Does the HomePod always remained powered or does it power down if there is no activity after a while?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    It always remains powered, but enters a low power mode after some time. They do not have an on/off ability or switch. Also note that the HomePod cannot be used as a Bluetooth speaker.
     
  3. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #3
    If something is connected to them by Bluetooth during this low-power state with they play immediately or do they need time to power up.
     
  4. yegon, Feb 21, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018

    yegon macrumors 68030

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    #4
    It cannot be used connected by Bluetooth, as Intell says above.

    Equally, Airplay times out far too quickly for it to be useful if you ever find yourself pausing then resuming a short time later.
     
  5. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #5
    Hmmmm. Thanks guys.

    I guess if a connected iPad never turns off then airplay would stay connected forever...
     
  6. yegon macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I wouldn’t count on it. AirPlay always seems to time out eventually regardless of power state. Happened with AppleTV in the past too when I’d paused a video. When something is paused the clock starts ticking on the timeout, it’s a feature it seems.

    It’s for this reason, and endless problems switching between HomePods moving between rooms, I’ve returned my two HP’s. Over half my usage is podcasts, meaning pausing frequently while doing other stuff, and AirPlay isn’t fit for purpose in this regard. It’s a shame, as I like them when they work. AirPlay 2 will be a big improvement I’m sure, but I don’t foresee why the timeout would necessarily change.

    Back to my Echo Plus’s for now. The BT connection has always beeen bulletproof for me.
     
  7. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #7
    Currently in my kitchen I have a permanently wired Logitech Squeezebox Touch and Harman Karden Soundsticks to stream music from Spotify. It works well but it’s getting old.

    I also have an echo Dot but the problem is the speakers go to sleep after a few minutes and when you initially talk to the Dot the first couple of sentences are missed as the speakers power up.

    Was thinking of replacing the entire setup with an iPad and a pair of HomePods (when Airplay 2 is released). However if the ipad can’t maintain a permanent connection to the HomePods it seems pointless. I guess I can never connect an echo to the HomePods either.

    Seems very strange that the HomePods have Bluetooth but it’s not used.

    HomePods certainly are an odd product with huge feature holes.
     
  8. yegon macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Definitely worth canvassing opinions about AirPlay, and AirPlay 2 specifically when it appears. May be just my setup re: timeout, don’t know, although googling it in the past reveals loads of others having the same problem.

    It’s a real shame as I really like the HomePods when they work. It’s the bit inbetween, the switching and repeatedly having to select output source on iPhone, that spoils the experience completely for me :(
     
  9. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #9
    I’ll try a test here now.

    I’ve started to airplay from my phone to ATV. I’ve stopped playing and I’ll come back to my phone in 15 mins to see if airplay is still connected.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 22, 2018 ---
    Nope. Sadly it drops the airplay connection!!
     
  10. yegon macrumors 68030

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  11. AdamA9 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Bear in mind there's no difference between stop and pause. And Airplay consumes battery life. It would be a pretty crap feature if you had to remember to disconnect AirPlay on every device after using it.
     
  12. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

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    #12
    Unfortunately the Airplay timeout is a power saving “feature”, I doubt much will change in that regard with Airplay 2.

    Obviously not much of an issue if you’re all in on Apple’s ecosystem, you can just stream directly from their servers to the HomePod with Apple Music.

    But if you’re reliant on third-party services like Spotify or Deezer (say what you want, I like Deezer) and streaming via AirPlay, it’s going to be a pain in the butt if you’re leaving it paused for long periods.

    With the HomePod I do think Apple are aiming to, ahem gently, nudge people towards using Apple services. That’s what it’s designed for really.
     
  13. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #13
    I’ve just hard-wired an iPad in my kitchen so Airplay battery drain is not an issue. You’d think the iPad would know it was plugged in!!

    Oh well, for now I’m connected via BT to my Harman speakers. If I can find a way to make the HomePods work I may buy a couple.
     
  14. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

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    #14
    It’s a good point, if power isn’t an issue you’d think it would be irrelevant to Airplay.

    There’s always submitting a feature request to Apple for that. I may do it myself because it is a good point. And the more people do, the more chance there is of it getting added.
     
  15. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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  16. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #16
    It could auto-reconnect like BT does.
     
  17. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #17
    but if its turned off how can it?
     
  18. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

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    #18
    It can’t, nothing can without power. Unfortunately as for what the op is asking, sadly no, AirPlay won’t auto-reconnect when power is turned on.
     
  19. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #19
    I don’t mean physically turned off. I just mean the iOS device is in lock mode.

    If my iOS device is in lock mode it still maintains a permanent BT connection to my speakers. When I unlock my phone and play music it continues in the speakers. AirPlay does not do this. It drops the AirPlay connection.
     
  20. yegon macrumors 68030

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    #20
    Interesting, I assumed as much.

    Annoying though. I leave my phone on my coffee table for hours, streaming podcasts to my Echo, a little music occasionally, controlling it with my Watch. I can pause it for ages, it will always resume when I press play on Watch, no messing with output dialogue boxes. Battery life loss is barely 20% at the most leaving it connected and using like this, and sometimes I leave it on the wireless Mophie charger anyway.

    I know AirPlay is uncompressed and over WiFi but I’ll take the quality hit of Bluetooth for the convenience.

    Should add, I don’t use Apple Music. HomePod would be an infinitely better proposition if I did. I simply don’t listen to music nearly enough to justify the sub though. 90% of my music listening is at the gym or running, the rest of the time it’s mostly podcasts.
     
  21. Pagemakers thread starter macrumors 68020

    Pagemakers

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    #21
    So now I’ve just done a further test. iPad set never to sleep.

    Open spotify and play to an AirPlay device.

    Pause Spotify for 10 minutes.

    Go back to the iPad and it’s dropped the AirPlay connection. The BT connection has remained.

    So now if I wanted to continue playing over AirPlay I’d have to re-connect again.

    Too much hassle for my permanent installation if you ask me.
     
  22. yegon macrumors 68030

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    #22
    Yep. Sorry that this is the case, but glad it’s not just my setup failing me.
     
  23. TrueBlou macrumors 68040

    TrueBlou

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    #23
    You're probably better sticking with the Echo to be honest, or if you want to go up in the quality stakes, Sonos. For the time being at least, the HomePod is definitely an Apple-centric device which doesn't play so well with non-Apple services if you don't want the AirPlay limitations.

    Maybe Apple will open it up a bit in the future, though I wouldn't hold my breath. But with a pair of Sonos 1's and your Apple Watch/iPhone for Siri, you've got the best of all worlds.
     
  24. yegon macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Aren’t Sonos 1’s AirPlay only too? I thought you couldn’t connect to them over BT?
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #25
    Right so that means its not off, and that's my point :)
     

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