Instant upgrades Apple Homepod
Give Siri a boost with these talkie tips
ONE ELGATO EVE THERMO
Despite the name, this isn’t a smart thermostat – it’s a thermostatic valve that replaces the one on your radiator. at means you can holler at Siri on the Homepod to tweak the temperature in different rooms (provided they each have a ermo installed), as well as making adjustments when you’re not at home.
TWO PHILIPS HUE WHITE AND COLOUR
is three-bulb starter pack lets you create mood-based lighting scenes. Want your bedroom to have the same ambience as a Hawaiian sunset? Hue’ll do it. And with Homekit integration, you can use Siri to switch between colours or preset lighting scenes and automate your lighting schedules.
THREE AUGUST SMART LOCK
‘Keyless entry’ might sound scary, but believe us – using your phone to unlock your front door is (a) incredibly cool and (b) an alternative to keys that you’re far less likely to forget when you leave the house. e August Smart Lock is easy to fit, and Homepod compatibility means you can unlock it using Siri commands.
1 KEEP THINGS TO YOURSELF
Kids love talking to Siri but their dreadful musical taste can mess with Apple Music’s curated playlists. You don’t want to tell Siri, “Play some music I like,” only to hear Let It Go for the 4000th time. Open Homepod’s settings in your Home app, turn off ‘Use Listening History’, and Apple Music will ignore what your Homepod plays, using your phone’s listening history instead.
4 HONE YOUR TRIVIA SKILLS
Nick O’malley could hit you over the head with a sign that says “I’m in the Arctic Monkeys” and you probably still wouldn’t recognise him – but that doesn’t mean Siri’s just as clueless. Ask her for names of band members, album titles, songwriters and sometimes even who plays which instrument on certain songs – although that’s reliant on Wikipedia having the info.
2 BUILD A WALL OF SOUND
e Homepod’s A8 chip uses the built-in mics to listen to itself and adjust the audio accordingly – the idea being that it’ll sound great no matter where you put it. We’ve found that placing it near a wall means that it tends to bounce ambient sounds off it while the main elements, such as lead vocals, are pushed out into the centre of the room, giving a fuller, wider sound.
5 ABSOLUTE SCENES, BRUV
Tap the ‘+’ button on the Home app’s main screen and you can create ‘scenes’, which are essentially specific setups for multiple Homekit-compatible devices: turning on the lights, heating and coffee machine first thing in the morning, for instance. Once you’ve set your scene you can activate it simply by saying, for example, “Good morning!” to your Homepod.
3 TELL SWEARING TO **** OFF
Snoop Dogg might sound like a character from a kids’ TV show, but a lot of his music is far from suitable for pre-watershed ears. Good thing you can block off explicit content in Homepod’s main settings menu via the Home app, thereby protecting your progeny’s delicate ears from inadvertently finding out what the Doggfather has planned for his ladyfriends.
6 SOOTHE THE MOVE FROM SPOTIFY
To get the best out of your Homepod you’re going to need an Apple Music subscription. If you’re a long-time Spotify user there are ways to make the move less of a wrench. You can transfer your playlists using an app such as Houdini (£2.99) or Songshift (£free). e latter also has a £3.99 Pro version that keeps your playlists synced across services.