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

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
This wasn't possible under the initial release nearly two years ago, it was still missing in the iOS 12 update, and now that we have iOS 13 is this STILL not possible?

What I want is a way to say, "Hey Siri, play my Morning Playlist at 7:15AM."

Interestingly enough, my $30 Google Mini can do this type of thing. It will even ask what type of music you want to use for the alarm (if you don't specify).

I don't know about Apple, something like this was possible 40 years ago using a cheap clock radio and Apple apparently still hasn't added this one simple feature. Oh, and I've submitted two previous requests directly to Apple to add this feature (one after I purchased the HomePod two years ago and again after the release of iOS 12).

I also asked about this over on Apple's own support forums and all I got was one response that said they didn't know but that it might be available under the alarm setting in the Home app (which it isn't, even on my iPad running iOS 13.1).

Next best (I guess), is there a way to create an iOS Shortcut to play music at a given time (as a wake-up alarm)?
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
You can do this now with an automation in the Home or Shortcuts app. Just set the automation for “A Time Of Day Occurs” as the trigger which would be your wake up time. Then set the Homepod to play any track from the music app. Think it has to be Apple Music though. If you need a snooze, then set a similar automation for 5 or 10 or however many minutes after the initial time. Haven’t tried it yet but should work in theory.
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
Okay, thanks for the response.

To Apple, this isn't rocket science (providing a music wake-up alarm for the HomePod). MUCH harder to do than it should be and worse than a 40 year old clock radio or my $30 Google Mini. I'm beginning to think that Apple has completely lost it (at least on the HomePod and a few other products).
 
Last edited:

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
Okay, thanks for the response.

To Apple, this isn't rocket science (providing a music wake-up alarm for the HomePod). MUCH harder to do than it should be and worse than a 40 year old clock radio or my $30 Google Mini. I'm beginning to think that Apple has completely lost it.
Yeah, would be nice if you could do it right from the alarm setting in the HomePod but setting up the automation isn’t as difficult as it seems. It’s not that bad actually. You can have it set depending on if someone is home, nobody is home, you’re home, you’re not home, days of the week and have it turn off automatically after a set time. I have quite a few HomeKit accessories and taken a hobby to setting up automatons. Give it a go 😃
 

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
Actually, I just found out (from trying) that you can't use an automation to trigger music playback on the HomePod because the "time of day" automation requires that the user confirm the action before it will actually run. It can't be set to run automatically.
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
Actually, I just found out (from trying) that you can't use an automation to trigger music playback on the HomePod because the "time of day" automation requires that the user confirm the action before it will actually run. It can't be set to run automatically.
Did you use the personal automation or home automation? Personal does require user interaction which is completely bogus and not much of an automation but Home shouldn’t require any input from the user.
 

JCoe13

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2014
335
475
Chicago, IL
Did you use the personal automation or home automation? Personal does require user interaction which is completely bogus and not much of an automation but Home shouldn’t require any input from the user.
Might be a very dumb question: What's the difference between a personal automation vs a home automation?
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
Might be a very dumb question: What's the difference between a personal automation vs a home automation?
Home automation is used in conjunction with smart home accessories like smart lights, garage door openers, door locks, etc and now with the new iOS, HomePod and Apple TV. This can be found in the Home app and Shortcuts app.
Personal automations are things you can automate on your phone like turning on WiFi at a specific location or turning on Bluetooth when connecting to CarPlay, etc... and this can only be found in the Shortcuts app. A lot of personal automations are more of a glorified notification service which requires user input so not much of a real automation.
[automerge]1572988059[/automerge]
Actually, I just found out (from trying) that you can't use an automation to trigger music playback on the HomePod because the "time of day" automation requires that the user confirm the action before it will actually run. It can't be set to run automatically.
Just tested this myself creating an automation in the Home app and it worked great without my intervention. I was also able to stop the music by saying “Hey, Siri, stop” to simulate a snooze.
 

JCoe13

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2014
335
475
Chicago, IL
Personal automations are things you can automate on your phone like turning on WiFi at a specific location or turning on Bluetooth when connecting to CarPlay, etc... and this can only be found in the Shortcuts app. A lot of personal automations are more of a glorified notification service which requires user input so not much of a real automation.
Wow... I had no idea you can do this in the shortcuts app! Based on the comment about user intervention, i'm not sure how useful these are but I will definitely be trying them out. I only knew about automation through the Home app, which is why I was lost when personal automation was brought up.
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
Wow... I had no idea you can do this in the shortcuts app! Based on the comment about user intervention, i'm not sure how useful these are but I will definitely be trying them out. I only knew about automation through the Home app, which is why I was lost when personal automation was brought up.
It’s a terrible shame that they crippled the functionality by not really automating it though. Could’ve been absolutely incredible. Some triggers do not require user intervention via a notification like NFC Tag automations and connecting to CarPlay. Location and time based are examples triggers that do. There are workarounds that I found some Reddit users posted but I haven’t played around with them yet. The Home app only requires user intervention for secure accessories like door locks and garage door openers, but I have workarounds in place for those. Time and location based triggers in the Home app are good to go.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dancingbrook

JCoe13

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2014
335
475
Chicago, IL
It’s a terrible shame that they crippled the functionality by not really automating it though. Could’ve been absolutely incredible. Some triggers do not require user intervention via a notification like NFC Tag automations and connecting to CarPlay. Location and time based are examples triggers that do. There are workarounds that I found some Reddit users posted but I haven’t played around with them yet. The Home app only requires user intervention for secure accessories like door locks and garage door openers, but I have workarounds in place for those. Time and location based triggers in the Home app are good to go.
That's sad... Hopefully there will be an update to fix some of these common issues people dislike. I'd prefer the option to opt out of intervention. The other thing I noticed is that for the custom shortcuts I do have on my home screen, the shortcut always opens the shortcuts app after. I wish it would just run and then I can carry on without the app opening.
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
That's sad... Hopefully there will be an update to fix some of these common issues people dislike. I'd prefer the option to opt out of intervention. The other thing I noticed is that for the custom shortcuts I do have on my home screen, the shortcut always opens the shortcuts app after. I wish it would just run and then I can carry on without the app opening.
Yup... crippled 😠
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
So interestingly enough, when I try to set this up as a Home automation through the Shortcuts app, it doesn’t let me select the the type of audio (music) and therefore cannot complete the automation set up. Works fine in the Home app though.
 

techiegirl

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2007
1,188
223
I just found out about playing music as alarm through the home app. Will have to see if this works tomorrow. Hate for my alarm not to go off.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Itinj24

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
I don't know, when I go into the automation section of the Home app on my iPad Pro there are no devices listed for automation. It just puts up a splash screen that says you can control HomeKit-enabled accessories, but there are no selections available. However, my HomePod does show up within the Home section and I can access the HomePod settings from there (I can pause/play the HomePod and change its settings, but I see nothing in the Home app that will allow me to set automations).

However, I can set automations in the Shortcuts app that will run on the HomePod, but as I said earlier the "Time of Day" trigger requires a confirmation before it will run.

That same splash screen (in the Home app) also says you can use an always on iPad as a Home Hub, but I can't find any way to enable that (it says that you can use an iPad as a home hub and that you turn that on in the "Home settings on your iPad running iOS 10 or later," but I can't find any setting for the iPad that is under any sort of "Home settings").

The Home section also doesn't allow me to add a scene using the HomePod (I don't know it that is normal or not). Maybe you have to have at least one HomeKit enabled device available before it will let you do anything from within the Home app.

Or, maybe the iPad needs to be the Home Hub to get this to work (right now my HomePod is the Home Hub, but I've also run using my Apple TV as the Home Hub).

I'm running iOS 13.1 on my iPad Pro and the latest release of software for the HomePod and Apple TV. I've also power cycled both my iPad Pro and HomePod.

Like I said earlier, this is WAY too complicated in order to just get some music to play as a wakeup alarm on the HomePod.
[automerge]1573015316[/automerge]
Oh, I suspect that the reason why Apple requires a confirmation on any "time of day" automation is that they don't want to be sued by someone who sets an automation to go off on something like an oven or furnace which then starts up completely automatically (without confirmation) and causes some type of destructive event (like a home fire). So, the lawyers at Apple decided that they had to enforce a confirmation prompt every time you use a "time of day" trigger.

I don't know for sure, but this seems entirely plausible because people (and lawyers) like to sue Apple because Apple has lots of money.
 
Last edited:

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
Well, I upgraded my iPad to iOS 13.2 and automations and my HomePod now show up under the Home app (previously that had only worked within the Shortcuts app). Note, iOS 13.2 just started shipping last week, so this "feature" is quite new.

Problem is that it looks like you need a subscription to Apple's Music streaming service to enable any automated music playback on the HomePod (if you use the Home app, not so for an automation run from the Shortcuts app). So, it still looks like I won't be able to trigger music for a wakeup alarm on my HomePod since a time-base automation for music requires a confirmation prompt when run from the Shortcuts app.

Thus, it appears that Apple is continuing with their edict that you need to pay them a monthly subscription in order to fully utilize the HomePod. That seems completely unfair as not only did I pay Apple nearly $400 for the HomePod but I've probably purchased nearly $2000 in media (mostly music, over many, many years) from the iTunes Store which apparently can't be used for automation (although it will stream to my iOS devices if started manually or with Siri or with an automation that is enabled within the Shortcuts app).

The solution then (as described in this thread) is that you must be running iOS 13.2 AND that you have a subscription to Apple's Music streaming service. The former is pretty easy, but the latter will cost you.
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
StumpyBloke said in another thread that he was able to use songs from iTunes. Wonder what the difference is.

Edit*** forgot he mentioned he was on the 13.3 beta so it may be coming...
[automerge]1573026923[/automerge]
You don’t have this option?

D2BF20CE-28C9-4C5E-B440-D44DE3218B5D.jpeg
 
Last edited:

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
I found that option for using the iPad as a home hub under iOS 13.2, but I think it MAY have been missing from iOS 13.1 (as were the options for setting automations on the HomePod from within the Home app).

So, you seem to need iOS 13.2 on your iOS device to enable some of these options. Which again means this wasn't possible until just last week.

**Actually, since the splash screen in the Home app said you needed iOS 10 or later to enable the iPad as a home hub I suspect that I just didn't look hard enough to find that option under iOS 13.1.**
 
Last edited:

fpnc

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 30, 2002
1,953
110
San Diego, CA
I enabled the free trial for Apple Music and I was able to set a timed start to play music on the HomePod.

However, at $10 a month and given that I already have thousands of purchased songs and content that came from my audio CDs I'm not sure I will want to go that route. I sure hope iOS 13.3 will add the ability to play songs that I have purchased from the iTunes Store as a wakeup alarm because that would make the HomePod a much more useful product.
 

Itinj24

Contributor
Nov 8, 2017
2,839
1,331
New York
According to StumpyBloke in the following thread I created, iTunes purchased music will have this ability in 13.3 for the Shortcuts app and hopefully the Home app. Hopefully this doesn’t get broken with subsequent releases.

 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.