If you scored an Apple HomePod mini this holiday season, you've probably been testing out some of its key features. Since the Apple device does a lot more than play your favorite bops, it can take a little while to figure out everything. As you're exploring the various features of the HomePod mini, you'll want to know how to get the most out of your experience. Take some time to try these 11 HomePod mini hacks, because they'll help you take advantage of its capabilities.
Apple announced the HomePod mini on Oct. 13 and officially released it in stores on Nov. 16. With the Apple S5 chip, the 3.3-inch device provides impressive audio quality and built-in Siri and smart home capabilities. The sound quality is even better, since the mini features an acoustic waveguide which directs the flow of sound downward and out the bottom without a muffled reflection of sound. The device also features innovative touch controls so you can pause, play, or skip a song with ease, but there's a lot more you can do to customize it to your needs.
While you've likely been trying out the obvious features on your mini, below are some of the best hacks for the HomePod mini to make your experience even smoother.
1. Create Stereo Sound
You can set up stereo sound using your HomePod mini, but you'll need to have two of them. If you do, when you're setting up the HomePod mini, put it in the same room as your other HomePod. Once you do, you should see an option that asks if you'd like to create a stereo pair for a "wider, more immersive sound stage," according to Apple.
Make sure both pods are HomePod minis, though, because it won't work if you have a regular HomePod and a mini.
2. Create Calendar Events
You can use your HomePod to create calendar events with Siri in a couple of easy steps. To start, check if you've enabled Personal Requests on your HomePod. If you haven't, follow the instructions to set up voice recognition on your HomePod mini and then go to Settings > Calendar > Default Calendar on your iPhone. Select the calendar you want to use. Then ask Siri, "Hey Siri, create a calendar event" and list the time range, date, and event name. You can also ask, “Hey Siri, create an all-day calendar event for [the date you want] called [the name you want].”
3. Ask Siri For Language Translation
You don't need to do any extraneous tapping or Google-ing to get language help. Siri works by using the Apple Translate app, and can give you a bit of translation when asked. Per The Ambient, using your HomePod mini, ask Siri, "Hey Siri, how do you say (this word) in (this language)?"
4. Change Siri's Voice
5. Make Third-Party Music Apps Your Default
Apple's HomePod mini works with third-party streaming services, but if you want to avoid specifying which service you want, there's a way you can set a third-party music app as your default. To do so, first make sure you've used the app with HomePod mini before. Next, per 9to5Mac, open the iOS Home app and tap on the “Home” icon in the top left. Then, go to “Home Settings,” select your avatar in the “People” section, and then you should see setting for your default music streaming service listed as "Preferred Service" under the "Media" section. From there, you can change it to the app that you'd like and save it, so you no longer get Apple Music as your default player.
6. Use HomePod Mini As A TV Speaker — & Turn Your Living Room Into A Movie Theater
To use your HomePod mini speakers as TV speakers, you'll need to start by creating a stereo pair using that hack above. Once you do, put the stereo pair HomePod minis in the same room as your Apple TV. Then, you should see the option to "Use HomePod" mini as your TV speakers, and enjoy the immersive, surround-sound experience.
7. Ask Siri How To Spell A Word
Siri is a spelling wizard if you ask, "Siri, how do you spell [say word]?" Siri will repeat the word with its correct spelling back to you.
8. Use Your HomePod Mini As An Intercom
To use your HomePod mini as an intercom, you'll want to make sure every Apple device you want to use is updated. After that, you should see intercom settings automatically selected. You can change the settings manually by going to the Home app. From there, tap Home > Home Settings > Intercom. Select what settings you'd like to save for your intercom and tap "Done" to go back.
Now to send an intercom message, you can either ask Siri to send a specific message from your HomePod mini or other linked device or create one using the Home app. If you're using the Home app, tap the sound wave icon in the upper-right corner of the screen from the Home tab. Then, you'll record what you'd like to say and tap "Done."
9. Get Store Hours & Addresses
Thanks to Siri, you can ask HomePod mini what time a store closes to get the info you need before you go. You can also have Siri pull up the address for you on your Maps.
10. Automate Your Lights So They Turn On As The Sun Sets
You can easily set up a time you want your lights to come on automatically, thanks to your HomePod mini. The device is connected to your other Apple devices as a home hub, as long as you're signed into your linked iCloud account. Next, you'll use the Home app to set up light automation. To do so, go to Home > Automation > Create New Automation (+). From there, you'll be able to select when you'd like your lights to come on daily.
11. Help Siri Understand Your Music Taste
While you're playing music on your Apple HomePod mini through Apple Music or your iTunes library, you can tell Siri when there's something you like or don't like and it will change how random music is generated for you. For example, if a song is playing that you don't enjoy, say, "Siri, I don't like this song." You can also ask Siri to play more songs like the one that's already playing or say when you like a song.
If you haven't ordered a HomePod mini yet, the device is available in Space Gray and White color options and sell for $99.