HomePod Guide: How to Create Multiple Timers, Search for Lyrics, Find Your iPhone, and Make Calls

by

Apple's HomePod was updated this week to version 12, which debuted alongside iOS 12 for iPhones and iPads. The HomePod update brings about a handful of new abilities for Apple's smart speaker, including support for multiple timers, lyric search, find my iPhone, making and receiving phone calls, and more.

Because of all the useful and handy new additions arriving on HomePod this week, we've written this guide to provide quick steps that can help you figure out each new feature, and added in some tips as well.

Multiple Timers

On previous HomePod software you could only make one timer and not name it, but with the new software Apple is letting you create and name as many as over 20 timers at once (our testing reached about 23). This should greatly help out HomePod owners, especially those who have placed the speaker in their kitchen.

Note: Because HomePod relies entirely on voice controls for timers (and other features in this guide), there may be other sentence patterns that result in the same responses as the ones we've discovered. With that being said, below you'll find a few examples of Siri commands for multiple timers on HomePod. To create multiple timers, simply begin listing one timer after the other to Siri:

Setting Timers

  • "Hey Siri, set a 15 minute timer for food."
  • "Hey Siri, set a burger timer for 20 minutes."
  • "Hey Siri, set a 25 minute french fries timer."
  • "Hey Siri, set a 45 minute timer for the laundry."
  • "Hey Siri, set a 3 hour timer for the sprinklers."

Checking Individual Timers

  • "Hey Siri, what's left on the food timer?"
  • "Hey Siri, how's the french fries timer?"
  • "Hey Siri, what's the sprinklers timer at?"
  • "Hey Siri, how long until the laundry is done?"
  • "Hey Siri, is the burger timer almost done?"

Checking All Timers

  • "Hey Siri, where are the timers at?"
  • "Hey Siri, how much time is left?"
  • "Hey Siri, list the timers."

The limit of any timer is a maximum of 23 hours (as it was previously). If you create a timer but don't give it a name, Siri will name the timer by its original length, saying something like "There is 1 minute left on the 10 minute timer."

When you have multiple timers running and one ends, the usual timer ending chime will sound, but it will now be interspersed with Siri stating which timer is completed. As usual, you can tap the top of HomePod to silence the timer, or ask Siri to shut it off. If you have numerous timers running simultaneously and want to end them all, you can say "Hey Siri, stop/cancel all of the timers."

Lyric Search

Similar to Apple Music on iOS, you can now search for a song through its lyrics using Siri on HomePod. Try out these commands to start using voice-enabled lyric search:

  • "Hey Siri, search for a song with the lyrics [lyrics]."
  • "Hey Siri, play the song with the lyrics [lyrics]."
  • "Hey Siri, search for the song that goes [lyrics]."
  • "Hey Siri, play the song that goes [lyrics]."

If you just want to perform a search for a song based on its lyrics without playing it, you can say something like "Hey Siri, what song has the lyrics [lyrics]?"

Find My iPhone

find my iphone homepodIf you've lost track of your iPhone but know it's somewhere nearby, HomePod can now send out a helpful ping so you can more easily locate your misplaced iPhone. Try these commands to get started:

  • "Hey Siri, find my iPhone."
  • "Hey Siri, find [iPhone name]."
  • "Hey Siri, where's my iPhone?"
  • "Hey Siri, ping my iPhone."
  • "Hey Siri, can you find my iPhone?"
  • "Hey Siri, is my iPhone nearby?"
  • "Hey Siri, I can't find my iPhone."

Siri will respond to each one of these commands by asking "Should I try to make it play a sound?", to which you'll need to reply yes or no.

This feature extends to any iOS or macOS device connected to your Apple ID, so you can also search for a missing iPad or MacBook, as long as they're all connected to the internet at the time of the search.

You can provide the specific name of each device to ping, but Siri does have some trouble recognizing custom names at times. When the alert is sent, you'll get a notification on the lost device and an email to your connected Apple ID account.

Phone Calls

One of the biggest new additions to HomePod this week is the ability to make and receive phone calls via your connected iPhone. Make sure your iPhone is on iOS 12 and your HomePod is updated (with Personal Requests turned on), and follow these steps to make calls on HomePod:

homepod phone call mitch Making a call: "Hey Siri, call Ben."
When a call comes in on iPhone: "Hey Siri, answer my phone."
Hanging up: "Hey Siri, hang up."
Checking a missed call: "Hey Siri, who just called?"

During a call, HomePod's top Siri waveform display will turn a bright green, indicating that you're on the phone with someone. If you don't want to speak to Siri to hang up, you can simply tap once on HomePod to end the call. Of course, the usual volume indicators can also make the person on the other end softer or louder.

If you answered a call on iPhone and want to move over to HomePod, follow these steps:

Transferring a call from iPhone to HomePod

  1. Answer or place a call on iPhone
  2. Tap "Audio" in the Phone app while the call is live
  3. Choose your HomePod speaker

Notably, you won't be able to perform any of Siri's basic search or query functionalities while HomePod is being used as a speakerphone. If someone else calls you while you're talking on HomePod, you can tap the green light at the top of HomePod to switch to it, or double tap the green light to end the current call and switch to the new one. To continuously switch between calls, tap the top of HomePod.

More details on HomePod's new update can be found in our launch post, and if you need a refresher on HomePod's overall set of features be sure to visit our full HomePod Roundup.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
30 months ago

Gonna go out on a limb here but the entire point of Siri is that you can tell it what you want to do. So we should be able to assume that you simply ask it to do any of the things this guide includes.

If you want it to set a 15 minute timer, you ask it to set a 15 minute timer?! NO WAY!!

Yes but before you could just say "Set a timer for x minutes" and it would only have the one timer. It'll then prompt you to amend the existing timer if you set another.

Now you can say "Set 15 minutes for the cuttlefish, set 3 minutes for the asparagus, set 50 minutes for the inevitable toilet break", and it'll have a separate timer for each, which you can also check by saying "How long on the cuttlefish?"

Seems like a reasonable article IMHO; I wouldn't have known this otherwise.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaibelf Avatar
30 months ago

Yes but before you could just say "Set a timer for x minutes" and it would only have the one timer. It'll then prompt you to amend the existing timer if you set another.

Now you can say "Set 15 minutes for the cuttlefish, set 3 minutes for the asparagus, set 50 minutes for the inevitable toilet break", and it'll have a separate timer for each, which you can also check by saying "How long on the cuttlefish?"

Seems like a reasonable article IMHO; I wouldn't have known this otherwise.

Cuttlefish, asparagus and a toilet break? Isn’t this part of the plot from the iPad episode of South Park?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
prototype iphone 12 pro

Prototype iPhone 12 Pro Shown Off in Photos

Wednesday January 13, 2021 3:39 pm PST by
Developer Giulio Zompetti, who often shows off prototype versions of Apple devices, today highlighted a prototype version of the iPhone 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 Pro is running an operating system called SwitchBoard, a nonUI version of the iOS 14 update that Apple uses internally. We've seen SwitchBoard on prototype devices before, as Apple uses it to test new features. Zompetti's prototype...
find my app safari post

Safari Allows Users to Enable Hidden 'Items' Tab in 'Find My' App Ahead of AirTags Launch

Wednesday January 13, 2021 5:45 am PST by
As seen in screenshots obtained by MacRumors in 2019, Apple's long-rumored AirTags items trackers are expected to be managed through the Find My app on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Now, any user can get an early look at this tab. MacRumors reader David Chu today alerted us that the hidden "Items" tab in the Find My app can be enabled on an iPhone or iPad by typing in the link findmy://items in...
pioneer carplay wc5700nex

The Best Apple-Related Accessories at CES 2021

Wednesday January 13, 2021 1:16 pm PST by
CES 2021 is taking place digitally this year, and it hasn't been as exciting as in past years because many vendors have opted out. That said, some companies are still showing off some interesting Apple-related accessories that are coming out this year and that will be of interest to Mac, iPad, and iPhone users. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Pioneer Wireless...
Hue module dimmer switch

Philips Hue Announces New Wall Switch Module, Dimmer Switch, and Outdoor Light Bar

Thursday January 14, 2021 3:11 am PST by
Philips Hue has announced a new wireless dimmer switch module that lets Hue bridge owners directly control the smart lighting from their standard wall switches. The new Philips Hue wall switch module is the ideal addition to any Philips Hue set up. Installed behind existing light switches, it allows users to turn their existing switch into a smart switch and ensures their smart lighting is...
macbook pro 16 inch thunderbolt

Bloomberg: Next-Generation MacBook Pro to Offer Improved Displays, Faster Charging Over MagSafe

Thursday January 14, 2021 11:36 pm PST by
Following today's report from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo outlining major changes for the next-generation MacBook Pro models coming in the third quarter of this year, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has weighed in with his own report corroborating some of the details but seemingly differing a bit on others. First, Gurman shares more details on the return of MagSafe charging to the MacBook Pro, indicating...
cook cbs this morning

CBS This Morning: Apple to Make 'Big Announcement' Tomorrow Morning

Tuesday January 12, 2021 8:46 am PST by
CBS This Morning today shared a short clip of an upcoming interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook in which addressing last week's events at the U.S. Capitol, with Cook saying "it's key that people be held accountable for it." Following the clip, Gayle King of CBS noted that the interview with Cook was not specifically arranged to address the current controversy over Parler and other repercussions, ...
iOS 14

Apple Seeds Second Betas of iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 to Developers [Update: Public Beta Available]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 10:03 am PST by
Apple today seeded the second betas of upcoming iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 updates to developers for testing purposes, with the new betas coming a month after Apple released the first betas. iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4 can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center or over the air after the proper profile has been installed on an iPhone or iPad. Paired with the HomePod 14.4 beta that is...
caldigit thunderbolt 4 dock featured

CalDigit Introduces USB-C Dock With 10 Ports and Up to 94W Charging for Macs [Updated]

Wednesday January 13, 2021 9:16 am PST by
CalDigit today unveiled a new Thunderbolt 4 dock with a wide selection of connectivity options, including three USB-A ports, one USB-C port, two HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The dock also has a Thunderbolt 4 port that allows it to be connected to a Mac with a single cable, with up to 94W of pass-through charging for the latest MacBook...