Set up a HomePod

Ja­son Cross ex­plains how to get started

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

Com­pared to most smart speak­ers, get­ting started with the HomePod is easy. There are no ex­tra apps to in­stall, no cal­i­bra­tion steps to un­der­take. Be­fore you get started, you’ll want to make sure you meet the re­quire­ments: the HomePod re­quires an iPhone (5s or newer) or iPad (mini 2 or Air or newer) to com­plete the setup process. A 6th gen­er­a­tion iPod touch will work, too.

Pre­par­ing for setup

1. Make sure your iOS de­vice is run­ning iOS 11.2.5 or newer.

2. Your HomePod will be at­tached to your iCloud ac­count, so you should make sure that is set up, too (and turn on two-fac­tor au­then­ti­ca­tion).

Set­ting up HomePod

1. Plug in HomePod and wait for the light on top to glow.

2. Bring your iOS setup de­vice (iPhone or iPad) near the HomePod. You’ll see a small win­dow pop up near the bot­tom of the screen, with an im­age of the HomePod. It’s sim­i­lar to the setup for AirPods or the lat­est Ap­ple TV. 3. Tap Set Up. 4. You’ll be asked what room the HomePod is in. Pick one.

5. The next screen asks you whether to en­able Per­sonal Re­quests or not. En­abling this will al­low HomePod to ac­cess your ac­count’s re­minders, mes­sages, notes, and cal­en­dar ap­point­ments. You should con­sider not en­abling this right now; see the next sec­tion for more de­tails.

6. The Terms and Con­di­tions screen will pop up. Read them (or don’t) and agree to con­tinue.

7. Fi­nally, a screen will pop up prompt­ing you to trans­fer set­tings from your iOS de­vice to your HomePod. This will trans­fer over the nec­es­sary iCloud ac­count info, Wi-Fi pass­word, and so on.

8. That’s it. You’ll be prompted to go through a cou­ple of ex­am­ple Siri ques­tions, but your HomePod is now set up.

Dis­abling Per­sonal Re­quests

HomePod can­not yet dis­tin­guish be­tween dif­fer­ent voices. Lit­er­ally any­one can walk up to it and com­mand it. If you have Per­sonal Re­quests turned on, that in­cludes set­ting re­minders, send­ing mes­sages, or adding notes for which­ever iCloud ac­count was on the iPhone or iPad used in setup.

The HomePod is sup­posed to use your phone’s lo­ca­tion to de­ter­mine when you are not home, but it’s still a huge se­cu­rity and pri­vacy risk to leave this en­abled while other peo­ple are around.

Un­less you live alone and never have guests over, we strongly rec­om­mend turn­ing off Per­sonal Re­quests un­til the HomePod gets a soft­ware up­date that lets it dis­tin­guish be­tween your voice and oth­ers.

If you turned this on dur­ing setup, you can eas­ily dis­able it in the Home app. Just fol­low these steps.

1. Open the Home app. 2. Tap on the lo­ca­tion but­ton in the up­per left. It looks like an ar­row­head.

3. You’ll see the name for your home and some other set­tings. Tap on your pro­file pic­ture in the Peo­ple sec­tion.

4. You’ll see a Siri on HomePod sec­tion, with one en­try: Per­sonal Re­quests. Tap that.

5. You’ll see a tog­gle at the top to turn Per­sonal Re­quests on or off, and a set­ting to re­quire au­then­ti­ca­tion on your iPhone or iPad for se­cure re­quests (like send­ing a mes­sage).

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