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10 Things to Know About the Apple HomePod

Designed to 'reinvent home music,' the Apple HomePod is Apple's newest major product. Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the Apple HomePod is a combination speaker and microphone that will play your favorite music and respond to your voice commands. Here's a look at 10 things you should know before purchasing a HomePod.

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Setup is Simple

If you’re technology challenged, don’t fear—HomePod setup is simple. All you need to do is hold your iPhone next to it and you’ll just have to make a few taps on your phone and you’ll be ready to go.

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It Can Leave Furniture Rings

The Apple HomePod is known for leaving rings on oil-finished wood since the base is made from silicone which reacts with many types of wood surfaces. If you’re going to place your HomePod on wood furniture, just be sure to put something under it such as a placemat.

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Off Button

Unlike Amazon’s Echo, the Apple HomePod has no physical button to turn off its microphone. Some people have expressed concerns regarding this privacy detail. However, since the HomePod uses Siri, you can just tell Siri to stop listening.

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It’s Single User

While anyone in the home can give Siri commands, HomePods are a single-user device. That means it is set up to just one account, so it will only play music from one Apple Music account, read messages from the one designated iMessage account and so on.

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It Has a Handy Speakerphone

The speakerphone on the Apple HomePod is incredibly handy and easy to use. While you cannot initiate a call on it, once your iPhone is connected on the call, you can transfer the call to the HomePod’s speakerphone function.

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computer screen with HomePodHadrian/Shutterstock

Request History

Users of Amazon’s Echo and Google Home have complained that the devices make a log of everything you ask. With the Apple HomePod, all your requests to Siri are sent to Apple anonymously and encrypted, meaning you won’t leave much of a digital trail.

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Two Timers Isn’t an Option

Unlike Amazon Echo or Google Home, the Apple HomePod won’t allow you to set two timers at once. Two timers can come in handy when you’re cooking two recipes at the same time, or need to set a timer as a reminder while you also have something in the oven.

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Speedy Podcasts

If you’re an avid podcast listener, you’ll like this next feature. If you’re listening to a podcast on your Apple HomePod, you can play the podcast at 1.5 or 2 times the speed.

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Device Awareness

Siri is device-aware. Think about it this way: You have an Apple Watch, an iPhone and an Apple HomePod. If you raise your arm and say, “Hey Siri,” your watch will respond. If you’re holding your phone and say, “Hey Siri,” your phone will respond. If you’re not touching those two devices, your HomePod will take over when you ask for Siri.

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Apple TVCanadapanda/Shutterstock

Play Apple TV

You can play the audio from your Apple TV through your HomePod. This can come in handy if you want to hear the television in a different room.

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