How to Use the HomePod's Physical Controls

by

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 (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
34 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
34 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
34 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
34 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
34 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
34 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

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Apple Releases iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 With Home Screen Redesign, App Library, Compact UI, Translate App, Scribble Support, App Clips, and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple has released iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, the newest operating system updates designed for the iPhone and iPad. As with all of Apple's software updates, iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 can be downloaded for free. iOS 14 is available on the iPhone 6s and later, while iPadOS 14 is available on the iPad Air 2 and later. The updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To ...

Apple Releases Safari 14 for Mac Ahead of macOS Big Sur Launch

Wednesday September 16, 2020 1:40 pm PDT by
macOS Big Sur didn't launch alongside iOS 14, iPadOS 14, tvOS 14, and watchOS 7 today, with the update coming later this fall, but Apple did release the Safari 14 update for macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave users. Safari 14 brings improved performance, customizable start pages, a Privacy Report to see which cross-site trackers are being blocked, and a new tab bar design that provides tab...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...

Spotify Says Apple One Bundle Will Cause 'Irreparable Harm to Developer Community'

Tuesday September 15, 2020 12:26 pm PDT by
Apple today announced Apple One, a series of new subscription bundles that provide access to various Apple services at a combined monthly price. In response, Spotify sent out statements (via Peter Kafka) to the press decrying Apple's anti-competitive behavior and calling on "competition authorities" to stop Apple before it is able to cause "irreparable harm" to developers.Once again, Apple...

Apple Releases watchOS 7 With New Watch Faces, Family Setup, Sleep Tracking, Handwashing Help and More

Wednesday September 16, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Apple today released watchOS 7, the newest version of the watchOS operating system designed to run on modern Apple Watch models. The watchOS 7 update comes after several months of beta testing. ‌watchOS 7‌ can be downloaded for free through the dedicated Apple Watch app on the iPhone by going to General > Software Update. To install the new software, the Apple Watch needs to have at...

New AirPods Pro Firmware Introduces Spatial Audio Support and Automatic Switching

Monday September 14, 2020 12:22 pm PDT by
The new 3A283 firmware that Apple released for the AirPods Pro today appears to introduce support for Spatial Audio, a new feature coming to the higher-end AirPods with iOS 14. Multiple reports on Twitter and the MacRumors forums indicate that the firmware update adds a "Spatial Audio" option to the Control Center, which can be activated to enable the feature. Note that using Spatial Audio...

Here Are All of the New Apple Watch Faces Apple Announced Today

Tuesday September 15, 2020 2:55 pm PDT by
Apple today announced the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which will be compatible with new watch faces that are being introduced in the watchOS 7 update set to be released tomorrow. Apple has provided a video highlighting all of the new Apple Watch faces, with details on each one. GMT - The GMT face shows multiple time zones at once, while also taking into...

iOS 14.2 Beta Adds New Shazam Music Recognition Feature for Control Center

Thursday September 17, 2020 3:36 pm PDT by
Apple today released the first beta of iOS 14.2 to developers for testing purposes, and the new update introduces a Music Recognition control for the Control Center. The new feature lets you discover music playing around you and it recognizes the music playing with in apps, even when you're wearing AirPods. Songs pop up as notifications, and you can tap to listen in Apple Music....