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

Thursday September 20, 2018 11:24 AM PDT by Mitchel Broussard

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.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

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

If 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:

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 (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
20 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)
Avatar
20 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

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Apple Adding Some 2013 and 2014 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro Models to Vintage Products List at End of April

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:24 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
In an internal memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has indicated that the following 2013 and 2014 models of the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro will be added to its vintage and obsolete products list on April 30:MacBook Air (11-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (13-inch, Mid 2013) MacBook Air (11-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2014) MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)Apple defines vintage...

AirTags Referenced in New Apple Support Video

Thursday April 2, 2020 12:12 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple has accidentally referenced its widely rumored AirTags item tracking tags in a video that it uploaded to its Apple Support channel on YouTube today. The video was first spotted by the blog Appleosophy and has quickly been removed. The video was titled "How to erase your iPhone." AirTags were mentioned in Settings > Apple ID > Find My > Find My iPhone under Enable Offline Finding, with...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Intel Unveils 10th-Gen Processors Suitable for Next 16-Inch MacBook Pro With Wi-Fi 6 and Turbo Boost Speeds Above 5GHz

Thursday April 2, 2020 7:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Intel today announced the launch of its latest 10th-generation Core processors for high-end notebooks, potentially including the next 16-inch MacBook Pro. The batch of 45W chips, part of the Comet Lake family, are built on Intel's 14nm++ architecture. The new H-series chips have the same base clock speeds as the 9th-generation chips in the current 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Turbo Boost speeds...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

2020 iPad Pro May Not Have a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip After All

Wednesday April 1, 2020 8:49 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
While it was previously reported that all 2020 iPad Pro models feature the same Apple-designed U1 chip as the iPhone 11 lineup, enabling Ultra Wideband support, we have compiled evidence to suggest that this may not be the case. As a reminder, Apple's tech specs for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro list an Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness, but the chip is not mentioned in Apple's...