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
32 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
32 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
32 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
32 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
32 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
32 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

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone Users Who Experienced 'Batterygate' Can Now File to Receive Around $25 Settlement From Apple

Monday July 13, 2020 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this year, Apple agreed to settle a U.S. class action lawsuit that accused the company of "secretly throttling" older iPhone models. Now, eligible iPhone owners are beginning to be notified about their legal rights and options. Under the proposed settlement, Apple will provide a cash payment of approximately $25 to each eligible iPhone owner who submits a claim, with its total payout ...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Arm-Intel-PowerPC Universal Binaries Are Possible

Saturday July 11, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
Casual MacRumors visitors may not realize that we have a very active PowerPC forum where users discuss issues related to PowerPC Macs that have not been produced since 2006. Threads range from hardware upgrades and software options to nostalgia: Photo by AphoticD Apple's recently announced transition to Apple Silicon (Arm) based Macs raised some interesting questions about future support...

Possible 'iPhone 12' Battery Certifications Suggest Lower Capacities Than iPhone 11 Series

Monday July 13, 2020 4:22 am PDT by
MySmartPrice has spotted certifications for three new Apple batteries that it believes could be for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, despite them being less capacitive than the batteries in the current iPhone 11 series. The batteries are identified with the model numbers A2471, A2431, and A2466, and appear on Safety Korea, China's 3C, and the Danish agency UL Demko. Apple is expected to...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Google to 'Dramatically' Improve Chrome Impact on Mac Battery Life

Sunday July 12, 2020 1:56 pm PDT by
Google will address long-standing battery life issues, particularly on Mac devices, reports The Wall Street Journal. Chrome will improve "tab throttling" by better prioritizing active tabs and limiting resource drain from tabs open in the background. This is said to have a "dramatic impact on battery and performance." Google has reportedly been performing early tests on Mac laptops in...

Top Stories: iOS 14 Public Beta, iPhone 12 Size Comparison, 14-Inch MacBook Pro Rumors

Saturday July 11, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
After one round of developer beta testing, Apple unleashed iOS and iPadOS 14 to a wider audience this week, opening it up to members of the public beta program. There are lots of changes and new features to check out, but as with any beta, be careful about installing it on your main devices. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other major stories this week included our ...

Apple Shares Humorous 'Working-From-Home Thing' Video

Monday July 13, 2020 9:31 am PDT by
Apple today shared a funny video focused on the problems that people working from home have to deal with, including noisy children, chaotic schedules, communication issues, and more. The video focuses on showing off Apple products and their capabilities that can be useful when working from home, such as the ability to scan a document with an iPhone, mark up a PDF, Siri Reminders, and more.The...