How to Use the HomePod's Physical Controls

Friday February 9, 2018 11:25 PM PST by Juli Clover

As a smart speaker, HomePod comes with built-in Siri support, so you can use it without ever touching it, but Apple did include a touch panel at the top of the device that supports several gestures.

HomePod gestures can activate Siri, control the volume of what's playing, skip to the next song, pause/play and more. All of the touch gestures you can use with the HomePod are below.


Volume

Volume up - Tap on the "+" button to raise volume by one level, or touch and hold to increase the volume by several levels.

Volume down - Tap on the "-" button to lower the volume by one level, or touch and hold to decrease the volume by several levels.

Playback

Pause or resume playback - Tap in the middle of the HomePod to pause your music and tap it again to unpause.

Go to the next track - When a song is playing, double tap in the middle of the HomePod to skip a song.

Replay the previous track - When a song is playing from a playlist or an album, triple tap in the middle of the HomePod to go back to the previous song that was playing.

Siri

To activate Siri, place a place a finger on the top of the HomePod and hold it there until the visual Siri waveform appears. From there, you can speak your Siri command.

Other Available Gestures

Dismiss an alarm - If an alarm is going off on the HomePod, tap in the middle of it to stop it.

Activate VoiceOver - If you have VoiceOver enabled in the Accessibility settings, double tap to activate it. With VoiceOver enabled, all other gestures will require one extra tap, so pausing, for example will require two taps.

End a call - When using your HomePod as a speakerphone, you can end a call by tapping on the green light on top of the HomePod.

Switch calls - If you're using HomePod as a speakerphone on a call and a second call comes in, you can touch and hold on the green light to put a hold on call. Switch between calls by double tapping.

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

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
28 months ago
Am I the only one who finds these controls unintuitive and confusing? They put a display on the top of the HomePod. Why not just utilize a proximity sensor to display context-specific controls when you approach the device?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

Am I the only one who finds these controls unintuitive and confusing? They put a display on the top of the HomePod. Why not just utilize a proximity sensor to display context-specific controls when you approach the device?


Pretty sure you are the only one lol. Apple has used these controls for years on the headphones and iPods.... simple enough.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

I get that they are the same controls but I'm with you... why not just have some of the options on the display? I feel the display is not used at all... Such a beautiful display and all it does is display + and - I mean really?

It isn’t really a display, it’s just a small LED array in the centre, covered by a panel that blurs the light to make it look like a nice glowing orb.

The volume controls are simply one LED each.

So only a very small area of the top of the HomePod has the potential to illuminate, and even then it can only display vague shapes and colours rather than symbols.

(Fun fact: I noticed today that there must be an ambient light sensor hidden somewhere because the brightness of the volume controls changed to the room lighting. That’s a really nice touch!)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

It isn’t really a display, it’s just a small LED array in the centre, covered by a panel that blurs the light to make it look like a nice glowing orb.

The volume controls are simply one LED each.

So only a very small area of the top of the HomePod has the potential to illuminate, and even then it can only display vague shapes and colours rather than symbols.

(Fun fact: I noticed today that there must be an ambient light sensor hidden somewhere because the brightness of the volume controls changed to the room lighting. That’s a really nice touch!)

You're right. On close inspection it's not a screen at all. Just a few colored LEDs and a diffuser.

That's a bit limiting. I was secretly hoping a future software upgrade might support coverflow. I like visuals. No chance of that happening now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

...Apple has used these controls for years on the headphones and iPods.... simple enough.


True, but that was through necessity: There was only one mechanical button, so it was necessary to learn morse code click combinations.

That all seems inappropriate on a device with a big color touchscreen. And since this is a shared device intended for common areas, what if your houseguests don't know about the secret click combos? Seems user-hostile. Seems like a wasted opportunity.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
28 months ago

True, but that was through necessity: There was only one mechanical button, so it was necessary to learn morse code click combinations.

That all seems inappropriate on a device with a big color touchscreen. And since this is a shared device intended for common areas, what if your houseguests don't know about the secret click combos? Seems user-hostile. Seems like a wasted opportunity.


I agree, seems like they could have easily had Skip Forward and Skip back on the North/South portions of the screen (assuming you consider +/- the East and West) and Play/Pause as one button in the center.

I also wish they would have used the standard figure 8 power cable like they do on the Apple TV, Airport Express, Airport Extreme, etc. Would have been nice to be able to buy a shorter cable so I don't have 4' of it wrapped up in a coil next to the speaker on my kitchen counter.

That said I am pretty impressed with the sound and am overall happy with it. I probably won't bother buying any more until I see what kind of firmware updates are made etc. Then I could see picking up a couple more for my kids' rooms. Would also be nice if they made a bit smaller/cheaper version better suited for bathrooms etc.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Kuo: Apple to Launch Several Macs With Arm-Based Processors in 2021, USB4 Support Coming to Macs in 2022

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:19 pm PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple plans to launch several Mac notebooks and desktop computers with its own custom designed Arm-based processors in 2021, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo believes that Arm-based processors will significantly enhance the competitive advantage of the Mac lineup, allow Apple to refresh its Mac models without relying on Intel's processor roadmap,...

Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs [Updated]

Thursday March 26, 2020 8:16 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple this week acknowledged that MacBook Air models with Retina displays can exhibit anti-reflective coating issues, as indicated in a memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors. "Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues," the memo states. Apple's internal service documentation ...

Hands-On With the New 2020 12.9-Inch iPad Pro

Wednesday March 25, 2020 2:10 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple last week announced new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models, and as of today, the new iPads are arriving to customers. We picked up one of the new 12.9-inch models and checked it out to see just what's new and whether it's worth buying. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. When it comes to design, the new iPad Pro models are identical to the 2018 iPad Pro models, but ...

Apple Considering Delaying iPhone 12 Launch 'by Months'

Wednesday March 25, 2020 12:51 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is preparing to delay the launch of the 2020 iPhones expected to be equipped with 5G technology, according to sources with knowledge of Apple's plans that spoke to Japanese news site Nikkei. Apple has reportedly held internal discussions about the possibility of delaying the launch "by months" over fears of how well iPhones would sell in the current situation, and supply chain sources...

Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air

Thursday March 26, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Alongside new iPad Pros last week, Apple also refreshed the MacBook Air, adding more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and an updated keyboard. We picked up one of the new machines to take a look at some of the upgrades added in the 2020 update. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, there are no real external changes to the MacBook Air's body,...

Apple Offering 90-Day Free Trials for Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X

Thursday March 26, 2020 2:58 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is offering new free trial options for Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, its video and audio editing software designed for professional projects, giving customers 90 days to try them out prior to a purchase. The new longer trial options will be beneficial to those who are working from home, including students who are no longer able to work in a classroom environment, and those who are...

Apple Watch Series 6 Could Feature Touch ID Fingerprint Sensor, Pulse Oximetry and Sleep Tracking Support

Friday March 27, 2020 11:28 am PDT by Juli Clover
The upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 set to be released this fall could include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the crown of the device, according to Israeli site The Verifier, which cites "senior sources" who have worked with its staff for a "number of years" as the source of the rumor. It's not clear how the alleged Touch ID fingerprint sensor would be implemented, as the Digital...

Apple Launches COVID-19 Website and App With Screening Tool and Resources

Friday March 27, 2020 9:00 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple today announced that it has released a new COVID-19 website and iPhone app with a screening tool and other resources to help people stay informed and take the proper steps to protect their health during the spread of the novel coronavirus. Apple partnered with the CDC, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and FEMA on this initiative. The website and app allow users to answer a...

Deals: Huge Refurbished iPhone Sale Discounts iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, and XS (From $120)

Friday March 27, 2020 5:47 am PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Woot is back today with a big sale on refurbished iPhones, including markdowns on the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Woot. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. As with every Woot purchase, those...

A12Z Bionic Chip in iPad Pro Allegedly a Renamed A12X With Extra GPU Core Enabled

Thursday March 26, 2020 6:35 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models are equipped with an A12Z Bionic processor that's remarkably similar to the A12X chip in the 2018 iPad Pro models, offering little in the way of performance improvements. The A12Z does, however, feature an 8-core GPU while the A12X includes a 7-core GPU, which sets them apart, but new evidence shared by NotebookCheck suggests that the A12Z Bionic is simply a...