Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,027
17,408



Apple this morning announced the official launch date for its much-anticipated HomePod, and that announcement included several new details that we hadn't previously heard about the Siri-equipped smart speaker.

In the HomePod press release, Apple says HomePod can be used as a speakerphone with the iPhone "for crisp and clear audio quality."

HomePod-on-shelf-800x451-800x451.jpg

This means users will be able to take calls on the HomePod using a nearby iPhone, with the HomePod able to serve as a speaker and a microphone for the call. Further documentation shared with Apple Store staff (via Guilherme Rambo) says that this feature will allow "anyone" to make a call on their iPhone and then hand it off to the HomePod.
Everyone can continue a phone call on HomePod--Anyone can start a call on their iPhone and hand it off to HomePod for a hands-free conversation.
HomePod will not be limited to a single user, as suggested and confirmed in the HomePod documentation. Once the HomePod is set up, anyone in the home will be able to listen to music using the Apple Music account installed on the device, and anyone will be able to ask Siri questions.
Everyone can ask Siri questions--Anyone in the home can use HomePod to get everyday information like weather, traffic, new, translations, general knowledge, and more. For example, just as "Hey Siri, what's the weather like this week?"
HomePod is primarily designed to work with an Apple Music account, and while it does support Bluetooth 5.0, it's not yet clear if it will support playing music directly to the device from an iPhone or another smartphone. It will, however, support peer-to-peer AirPlay, so you can play content from third-party music apps on the HomePod using AirPlay.

Sans Apple Music subscription, though, HomePod will be able to play content that's been purchased from iTunes along with Beats 1 radio content and podcasts.

As Apple shared earlier this morning, HomePod will eventually support multi-room playback and stereo sound by linking one or more HomePods together using the new AirPlay 2 protocol, but that functionality will not be available at launch.

At launch, HomePod will be available in the United States, UK, and Australia. In the U.S., it will be priced at $349, and it will cost GBP319 in the UK and $499 in Australia.

Apple will begin accepting orders for the HomePod on Friday, January 26, with the device set to launch two weeks later on Friday, February 9.

Article Link: HomePod Can Be Used as Speakerphone, Will Support Commands From Multiple Users
 

ck2875

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2009
1,018
2,856
Brighton
Once the HomePod is set up, anyone in the home will be able to listen to music using the Apple Music account installed on the device, and anyone will be able to ask Siri questions.

... but what happens if anyone besides the “installed account” wants to use it to send a text? It’s nice that anyone can ask it a question, but does it only support one user for texting, etc?
 

CausticSoda

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2014
433
847
Abu Dhabi
Produce a proper "HomePod" with Airport / Time Capsule functionality, and I might be interested. But no... Drop a serious product and bring (late) to the market a speaker with the pathetic Siri. Thanks for that. I'll pass.
 

Baumi

macrumors regular
Mar 31, 2005
237
328
... but what happens if anyone besides the “installed account” wants to use it to send a text? It’s nice that anyone can ask it a question, but does it only support one user for texting, etc?

Does it support texting at all?
 

aguess

macrumors newbie
Aug 14, 2008
9
4
The only thing that will truly differentiate the HomePod from the slew of AI assisted speakers out there is the ability to control the AppleTV with your voice.

Sonos is a much better product in the big scheme of things. It's personally scalable without breaking the bank (Play:1 is $150), it will be platform agnostic - works with Alexa now with Google Assistant and Airplay 2 in the works.

That's the only true strategic advantage that Apple has in the space. You can control almost every other Smart Home device with either Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Apple TV is a very good, albeit expensive media streamer. I have a Google Chromecast Ultra and a Fire TV. I can control the Chromecast via Google Assistant and the Fire TV with Alexa via Sonos One.

I like Apple TV the best because I have an LG Dolby Vision TV.

The capabilities with the AppleTV remote are good, but who wants to hold a remote in their hand to issue verbal commands anymore.

I would only consider the HomePod if and only if it can control the AppleTV.

I know that sounds lazy, but fortunately or unfortunately that's where we find ourselves today.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bryan Bowler

Roy Hobbs

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2005
1,838
244
Still sounds like single user to me. Sure anyone can ask something, but assuming I set up the HomePod with my account can my wife ask Siri to play a song from her Apple Music account?

Same with Calendar, Text, To-Do, Notes, etc....
 
Last edited:

gnipgnop

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2009
1,583
1,917
HomePod is primarily designed to work with an Apple Music account, and while it does support Bluetooth 5.0, it's not yet clear if it will support playing music directly to the device from an iPhone or another smartphone.

Educated guess: it will support that, but the sophistication of how it handles that sound might be different.
 

ck2875

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2009
1,018
2,856
Brighton
Still sounds like single user to me. Sure anyone can ask something, but assuming I set up the HomePod with my account can my wife ask Siri to play a song from her Apple Music account?

Same with Calendats, Text, To-Do, Notes, etc....

Particularly considering how much they’re pushing the “It’s the ultimate music authority, bringing together Apple Music and Siri to learn your taste in music.” angle.
 

ifarlow

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2015
236
259
Georgia
Once the HomePod is set up, anyone in the home will be able to listen to music using the Apple Music account installed on the device, and anyone will be able to ask Siri questions.

As I read this, there is only one Apple Music account per HomePod. Not good, if this is accurate. So technically there are multiple users but only one source of music. This seems like a huge miss.
[doublepost=1516729985][/doublepost]
Still sounds like single user to me.

Yep. I think my question has been answered and not to my liking, unfortunately.
 

Z3man

macrumors 6502a
Feb 19, 2012
778
397
UK
So will i be able to tell it to play a playlist that i have in my iTunes account, without having to have an Apple Music subscription.
 

SeminalSage

macrumors member
Nov 10, 2016
90
251
The only thing that will truly differentiate the HomePod from the slew of AI assisted speakers out there is the ability to control the AppleTV with your voice.

Sonos is a much better product in the big scheme of things. It's personally scalable without breaking the bank (Play:1 is $150), it will be platform agnostic - works with Alexa now with Google Assistant and Airplay 2 in the works.

That's the only true strategic advantage that Apple has in the space. You can control almost every other Smart Home device with either Alexa or Google Assistant.

The Apple TV is a very good, albeit expensive media streamer. I have a Google Chromecast Ultra and a Fire TV. I can control the Chromecast via Google Assistant and the Fire TV with Alexa via Sonos One.

I like Apple TV the best because I have an LG Dolby Vision TV.

The capabilities with the AppleTV remote are good, but who wants to hold a remote in their hand to issue verbal commands anymore.

I would only consider the HomePod if and only if it can control the AppleTV.

I know that sounds lazy, but fortunately or unfortunately that's where we find ourselves today.

In addition to controlling the ATV, it would be nice to use the HomePod as a speaker for a TV, like a soundbar.
 

gaximus

macrumors 68000
Oct 11, 2011
1,587
2,692
Once again, prominent features are not available at launch of an already delayed product...

Good one, Apple...

I wish Apple would spend more time on a product before releasing a half baked product.
Apple spends more time
Why is Apple taking so long to release new products

This is not directed at you, just in general.
 
  • Like
Reactions: femike

gnipgnop

macrumors 68000
Feb 18, 2009
1,583
1,917
Still sounds like single user to me. Sure anyone can ask something, but assuming I set up the HomePod with my account can my wife ask Siri to play a song from her Apple Music account?

Since the songs/albums/artists available through Apple Music are the same for every user account, that wouldn't be an issue. The only thing that wouldn't be the same is custom content like an individual playlist that your wife set up within her account.
 

pwfletcher

macrumors regular
May 2, 2002
135
4
So ... without an Apple Music subscription, it won't play my iTunes playlists on my iMac Pro? You have to stream music to it with your phone via bluetooth? Fail ...

I want to be able to say, "Hey Siri, play my Sleep playlist" ... and have the thing pull the music from my Mac. If it can't do that, what's the freakin' point??? I might as well stick with the Amazon Echos I already have in every room ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: dontworry

ifarlow

macrumors regular
Apr 23, 2015
236
259
Georgia
Since the songs/albums/artists available through Apple Music are the same for every user account, that wouldn't be an issue. The only thing that wouldn't be the same is custom content like an individual playlist that your wife set up within her account.

That's the issue, though. What if I want to have the HomePod play my favorite songs? Won't work if the HomePod is only able to connect to one Apple Music account and it happens to be my wife's. At least, that's what it's looking like.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.