Here are the best HomePod mini tips and tricks to help you make the most of your smart speaker.
HomePod mini is tiny, but it pack a ton of innovation and can do several things that you may not be aware of. Thus to help you get the most out of them, I have compiled a list of the best HomePod mini tips and tricks to boost your experience. Some of these you may already know, while a few added in iOS 15 might be new. So take a look till the end.
Your HomePod mini can really do it all. Whether you want to read messages, read news, stream music, or control your smart home — your HomePod mini has you covered. With all of these neat tricks and the list of Siri commands ever-growing, it can be easy to overlook the basic — yet useful — things your Apple smart speaker can do for you. If you’re one of the many to have picked up an HomePod mini, but don’t know if you’re making the most of its functionality, or you’re simply wondering what to ask Siri next, here’s everything you’ll want to try.
The best HomePod mini tips and tricks
Here’s a list of the best 31 HomePod mini tips and tricks that will help you get the most from Apple’s new smart speaker. Have fun!
1. Pair Two HomePod mini for Stereo Sound
Adding a second HomePod mini to your setup enables stereo sound to create a wider soundstage for richer, more enveloping sound.
If you’re setting up a new HomePod mini, and you choose to add it to a room where a HomePod already lives, then you’ll see a pop-up asking you if you want to create a stereo pair, but be aware that you cannot pair a HomePod mini and an original HomePod together. You can only pair two original HomePods or two HomePod minis as stereo speakers. It’s also worth bearing in mind that when two HomePod mini speakers are joined, only one responds to Siri requests, plays alarms, and acts as a speakerphone.
2. Send and read messages through HomePod mini
Beyond music controls, the HomePod mini also has the ability to send, read, and reply to text messages. Try saying, “Hey Siri, send a message to [contact name]” or “Hey Siri, send a message to [phone number].” Don’t worry; Siri will read back the message so you can make sure it heard you correctly before sending.
You can even have Siri on HomePod mini read your latest text messages to you, but you’ll need to have set up Siri to handle Personal Requests. Head into the Home app, go into the settings for the home in which the HomePod lives. Tap on the icon with your name on it under People then select Personal Requests at the bottom. You’ll be able to ask Siri things like, ”Read the latest message from Monica”.
Note that below it there’s a second option for adding authentication. You can switch this on to stop other people sending messages and causing other havoc with your account.
3. Make calls on HomePod with Siri
This HomePod mini trick lets you ask Siri to make and take calls on the speaker. This is a recent feature so first of all, make sure your HomePod is up to date. First you’ll need to enable Personal Requests. Go to your HomePod mini settings and scroll down, you’ll find Personal Requests under Siri. Switch it on.
To make a call with HomePod mini, just say, “Hey Siri, call [contact name]” or “Hey Siri, call [phone number].” Your iPhone will handle the call using your regular number while routing audio through the HomePod mini.
You can also transfer calls in-progress from your phone to the HomePod and back. Just open the call menu from your iPhone, press the “audio” button, and select your HomePod from the source list.
When you’re finished with a call, say, “Hey Siri, hang up,” double-tap the top of the HomePod, or just hang up from your phone.
One more phone-related HomePod mini trick: If you miss a call and your phone isn’t in reach, try saying, “Hey Siri, who just called me?” Siri will read out your most recent caller and offer to call them back.
4. Use Siri as a HomePod translator
Wondering how to say something in another language? Wonder no more – Siri can translate English to French, German, Italian, Spanish and Mandarin.
Simply ask, ”Hey Siri, how do you say [word] in [language]?” to expand your vocabulary.
5. Change Siri’s voice on your HomePod mini
It’s well-known that Siri has a female voice by default in the USA. Some people may want to change this and use a male voice instead, whereas others may want to use a more familiar or fun accent. Regardless of what you want to change about Siri’s voice on your HomePod mini, you can make these changes within just seconds using the Home app.
Head into your iPhone or iPad’s Home app, long press or 3D Touch the HomePod’s tile and you get the options to switch up some of Apple’s personal assistant’s settings – language, default voice and the like. You can also choose to mute the Apple digital assistant, if you want.
6. Grow your music trivia knowledge
Siri’s musicologist skills aren’t limited to skipping tracks, rewinding and fast forwarding. Apple’s digital assistant is quite the music buff – it’s got all the knowledge (well, it’s got a direct link to Wikipedia, at least).
While listening to a song, you can ask things like, “Hey Siri, who plays the drums in this band?”… “What year was this album released?”… “Tell me something about this artist” and so on. Every day is a school day with Siri.
7. Automate your smart home with Siri
Siri can control your HomeKit enabled kit from your HomePod mini, that’s a given. But a much more natural, and cool, way of getting Siri working harder in your smart home is to create scenes that it can control.
For example, set up a bedtime routine in which Siri turns off all the lights, activates the alarm and locks the front door – where a simple, “Hey Siri, it’s bedtime,” gets the scene started. Any scenes created in the Home app can be activated using Siri on your HomePod mini.
8. Control your HomePod with your iPhone instead of Siri
One of the big selling points of HomePod mini is obviously voice control for music playback, however, not everyone likes to call out, “Hey Siri” when listening to music or podcasts on a speaker. Maybe you don’t want to have to ask Siri every time you want to know the name of the song your listening to, or maybe you feel silly asking Siri to turn up the volume. You can control playback of HomePod audio (even if you’re not AirPlaying from another device) from your iPhone or iPad. Here’s how.
From within the iOS Music app, choose the song you want, click the AirPlay logo and choose your HomePod. Or, from the lock screen, you’ll see the Music widget – again, just tap that AirPlay icon and do the same as above.
Finally, from the Control Center, either long-press or 3D Touch the music tile and you’ll get a screen with all your current music playbacks on your Apple devices. Again, just hit the AirPlay button to transfer a song over to your HomePod, or choose the HomePod section if something is already streaming on your smart speaker.
Remember, with AirPlay 2 you can pair two HomePods together easily from the AirPlay menu or even pair the HomePod with another AirPlay 2-supporting speaker.
9. Use HomePod mini as a TV speaker
TV speakers are crap – that’s a fact. And while a HomePod mini isn’t necessarily designed to be a TV speaker, it does a pretty good job of room-filling sound for your movies and TV shows.
Until now this has only been available with the Apple TV, but with AirPlay 2 landing on TVs from the likes of Samsung, LG, Vizio and Sony – the HomePod can be paired with third-party sets.
When watching something from your Apple TV, you can hold down the play/pause button on the Apple TV remote and choose the HomePod option. If you want it to be the default speaker permanently, go to your Apple TV settings, select the Video and Audio section, choose Audio Output and pick your HomePod.
It gets even better when using the Apple TV 4K though – As part of Apple’s new ‘Home Theater with Apple 4K’ the first-gen HomePod can be used to form an immersive surround sound experience, with virtual 2.1, 5.1, 7.1 and Dolby Atmos all on offer.
The caveat here is you only get that surround sound action when you’re watching stuff via your Apple TV 4K; you can’t just plug your HomePod directly into your TV and get Atmos action on everything.
However, with Apple TV now supporting pretty much all the major streaming services – Netflix, Prime, HBO, Disney , Hulu and more – it’s a pretty compelling argument to make that single HDMI input switch for your AV setup.
10. Get the headlines from your HomePod mini
Siri can also read news headlines to you from several sources, including CNN, NPR, or the BBC. Simply say, “Hey, Siri, what’s the news today?” for a personal broadcast. If you want sports, just ask Siri, ”what’s the sports news?” instead.
11. Get help with your spelling from Siri
Can’t remember how to spell a word? No problem. Siri, Apple’s personal digital assistant, can help. To ask for help on your HomePod mini, simply say, ”Hey Siri, how do you spell [word]?” and your smart speaker will tell you what’s what.
12. Find your iPhone using HomePod
Misplaced your iPhone in the morning rush? Your HomePod mini can help you find it. Just say, “Hey, Siri, where’s my iPhone?” Siri will then say, “Should I try to make it play a sound?” Say yes, and you’ll hear a ping from your phone if it’s nearby.
13. Block explicit content from being played on your HomePod mini
You can set whether you want to listen to music without explicit content or not on the HomePod mini. This is especially handy if you have kids.
Navigate to the Home app, then hold your finger down on the icon for the HomePod for a few seconds. Click Settings in the bottom right of the new menu that pops up. In the next menu, untoggle the setting that says Allow Explicit Content under the Music & Podcasts section. And you’re done.
14. Factory reset your Apple HomePod mini
Whether you are looking to sell your HomePod mini or give it away, you should reset it to factory settings first. This will delete all your personal information and data linked to the device. Resetting your HomePod mini can also fix most issues you are having with your device, such as WiFi connectivity problems.
You’ve got two methods for resetting your HomePod mini. Firstly, on the Home app, press and hold the HomePod tile, tap ’Details’, scroll to the bottom and select ’Remove Accessory’.
To reset your HomePod mini without a Mac or iOS device, unplug it and wait 10 seconds. Then plug it back in and wait for 5 seconds. Next, press and hold the middle button on top of the device until you hear three beeps. Finally, let go when Siri tells you that your device is about to reset. You will know your HomePod has been reset when you hear it sound a chime.
15. Add a song to a Apple Music playlist
When you’re listening to Apple Music or Beats Radio you can simply say, ”Hey Siri, add this song to [name of playlist]” and it’ll be added on to the end of that playlist.
16. Turn on a HomePod mini Siri tone
The Siri waveform animation is a visual indicator that Siri is listening to you and working to answer your questions or commands. The sound tone is an audio indicator that Siri has heard you. If you have your HomePod on a shelf above your eye level, the chances are you’ll struggle to notice that Siri has heard you. If that’s the case, the Siri tone may be useful.
To turn it on, head into the HomePod’s settings menu within the Home app on your iPhone and check the Sound When Using Siri option.
17. Stream sound from Mac to HomePod
The Spotify app itself doesn’t list AirPlay speakers in the devices list, and the Mac AirPlay option in the menu bar only lists Apple TVs. But you can play any sound from your Mac – Spotify and more – over AirPlay to your HomePod. Dive into your System Preferences. From there, choose Sound and select your HomePod as the device for sound output.
18. Control Your Smart Home
You can also use HomePod as a smart-home hub for Apple HomeKit devices. In fact, when you first set up your HomePod, it automatically becomes a hub for your home. From there, you can use voice commands to control all sorts of HomeKit-enabled devices.
To take control of your hub, launch the Home app, and then tap the “house” icon in the top-left corner. Here, you can invite people to your hub, so they can also control your smart home. This is great for family members and guests, but be careful to whom you give access.
You can also change the “Allow Speaker and TV Access” setting to lock down your HomePod in case of abuse. If you choose “Everyone,” anyone in your home (regardless of whether they’re on the same Wi-Fi network) can control it.
The “Allow Speaker and TV Access” menu in the Home app for iOS.
If you limit the setting to “Only People Sharing This Home,” you’ll need to manually add people to your Home hub before they can use the HomePod on their own devices.
19. Enable VoiceOver on HomePod mini
VoiceOver has long been a fine gesture-based screen reader. With this Accessibility feature, you can hear the description of what is currently going on on the device’s screen. What could be music to the ears of the blind and sight impaired is that they can enable and use VoiceOver on Apple’s smart speaker, HomePod as well?
To enable it, head into the HomePod settings, scroll down to Accessibility and select VoiceOver.
20. Reset the HomePod’s Sound Calibration
The HomePod mini can calibrate itself to sound its best, given the current conditions. This happens every time the HomePod is moved, so if you want to force a manual recalibration, simply pick up the speaker and put it down again.
21. Share your HomeKit access for HomePod
Having a HomePod is well and good, but you might want to make sure that other people in your home can take advantage of it, too.
If you’re using your HomePod as a smart home hub, you can also add other users in your ‘Home’ app, allowing them to control the smart speaker and all its paired devices just like you might. You’ll practically feel the responsibility slipping off your shoulders.
22. Prevent other HomePod users from affecting your Apple Music recommendations
If you’re concerned that other people in your household will skew your Apple Music recommendations by using HomePod to play songs that don’t align with your tastes, then there’s a setting you’ll want to disable as soon as possible. It’s called “Use Listening History”, and here’s how to find it.
Launch the Home app and long-press your HomePod. Tap the Settings button, and then tap the “Update Listening History” option to turn it off.
If it’s too late and your recommendations have already been impacted, launch Music on your iPhone. Next, long-press any artists, albums, or songs you don’t like, and then tap “Suggest Less Like This” from the context menu.
23. Teach Siri your tastes
Ask Siri to play some music you like and it’ll use your listening history to put together a setlist of tunes by bands or artists you’ve listened to before, or from genres you told it you liked when you initially set up your Apple Music account. You can help it get a better grip on your tastes just by saying: “Hey Siri, I like this,” when it plays something you’re into, or “Hey Siri, I don’t like this band,” if it ever plays something you don’t like. Siri will take your taste into account and adjust what music it plays for you based on your likes and dislikes.
24. Set up multiple users
The HomePod Mini can now recognize individual voices from up to six users, so you always get your own information – like calendars and playlists – when interacting with it.
You should actually get a prompt to set this up automatically, provided you’ve met certain criteria that Apple has set out here (updating your iPhone to the latest iOS, having Bluetooth and “Hey Siri” turned on, and so on).
To customize how your HomePod interacts with your personally, head to the Home app on your phone, and tap the Home icon, Home Settings, then your home setup and your user profile under People.
25. Rename your HomePod Mini
You can customize settings for an individual HomePod mini, including changing its name from the default “HomePod” to something more descriptive, by using the Home app on your iPhone.
To rename your HomePod mini – just long press on the device in the Home app, then tap on Settings, then tap on the current title.
26. Understanding HomePod mini touch gestures
Along with Siri voice control, you can use gestures to control your smart speaker.
If your HomePod is in reach you can use tap gestures to control it, too. HomePod supports tap and touch for Siri and music playback. Single tap to Play/Pause, double-tap to skip to the next Track, triple-tap to jump to the previous Track, touch and hold to activate Siri, tap or hold the plus symbol to increase the volume, tap or hold the minus symbol to lower the volume.
27. Find songs by their lyrics
Have you recently found yourself singing some song lyrics only to discover that you’re unable to remember the actual name of the song they belong to? With Siri on your HomePod mini, you can quickly search the entire Apple Music catalog using just a short lyric phrase, allowing you to find the song in question and add it to your library or your favorite playlist for safekeeping.
Say ”Hey Siri, what’s that song that goes…” followed by a line or two to get a match – you can then ask to hear the song straight away as well, if you like.
28. Use your HomePods in multiple rooms
If you have multiple HomePods, you can move with your music or podcast from room to room, play the same music on all speakers and generally control audio in multiple places with ease. Multiple HomePods let different members of your household enjoy different music on different devices.
Go to Control Center on your phone and long press on the music playing tile, and you’re able to configure the multiple room setup further.
29. Play Ambient Sounds on HomePod mini
To start streaming one of the sounds on your HomePod, simply ask Siri.
- “Hey Siri, play white noise sounds”
- “Hey Siri, play rain sounds.””
- “Hey Siri, play fireplace sounds.”
- “Hey Siri, play forest sounds.”
- “Hey Siri, play night sounds.”
- “Hey Siri, play stream sounds.”
You can also get HomePod to play a random ambient sound by saying ”Hey Siri, play sounds.”
30. Update HomePod Mini
First things first, make sure to update iOS on your iPhone. Updates for the HomePod mini depend on the most recent version of iOS on your iPhone.
- Open the Home app and tap the Home tab at the bottom. If a software update is available, you’ll see this at the top of the Home screen. Tap Update Available.
Alternatively, tap the Home icon on the top left. You can do this from either the Home or Rooms tab at the bottom. Choose Home Settings.
Scroll down and select Software Update.
If you have more than one HomePod, you can view which will receive the update by tapping More. All HomePods in the list will receive the update at the same time.
Tap either Update All next to Update Available or Update next to the HomePod at the bottom and follow the onscreen instructions.
31. Turn off Hey Siri on HomePod mini
There’s isn’t a physical button on the HomePod to turn off Siri like the Echo, Sonos One, and Google Home, but you can still turn off the function if you are worried about Siri listening in on your conversation. To turn Siri off on the HomePod you have to do it via the Home app on your iPhone.
- Go to the Home app
- Select HomePod speaker in Favourite Accessories
- Long press on HomePod icon
- Tap Details
- Scroll down to Siri
- Toggle Listen for “Hey Siri”
Your Favorite HomePod mini Tips and Tricks
So these were some of the best HomePod mini tips and tricks you would love to try today. My favorite HomePod mini tips and tricks include the ability to grow my music trivia knowledge, send and read messages through HomePod, and the ability to automate my smart home with Siri. There’s surely plenty more hidden HomePod mini tips and tricks to discover, so I’ll keep tapping, swiping and noting anything I find. Did we miss out on something important that needs to be added to the list? Which are your favorite HomePod mini tips and tricks? Drop a comment and let us know!