Apple released HomePod software version 16.3 in January 2023, which brings a number of new features to its ‌HomePod‌ lineup, including the ability to include ambient sounds in automations. This article explains how it's done.

HomePod 2 and Mini feature 1
The arrival of Apple's ‌HomePod‌ software version 16.3 adds a number of new features to new and existing HomePods that are well worth checking out.

The update activates temperature and humidity sensing for both the second-generation ‌‌HomePod‌‌ and the ‌HomePod mini‌, adds the ability to set up recurring automations using Siri, and brings remastered ambient sounds that can be added to scenes, automations, and alarms.

Apple says the new ambient sounds have been remastered to sound more immersive, so it's worth giving them a listen. The available ambient sounds include Fireplace, Forest, Night, Ocean, Rain, Stream, and White Noise.

Let's look at how that how the ambient sounds work with automations. Once you've made sure your HomePod software is up-to-date, you can set up an automation to use one of the new, more immersive ambient sounds in the following way.

How to Use HomePod Ambient Sounds in Automations

  1. In the Home app on your iPhone or iPad, tap the Automation tab, then tap the + in the top-right corner of the interface.
  2. Tap Add Automation.
  3. Choose the event that will be the trigger for this automation to occur.
  4. In the next screen, set up your event options, then tap Next.
  5. Choose a scene or accessories to include in this automation, then tap Next. If it's a scene you're choosing, making sure it includes a ‌HomePod‌. If you're choosing accessories, make sure at least one is a ‌HomePod‌.

  6. In the next screen, give your automation a name. Then under "Media," tap Audio, then select Choose Audio....
  7. Tap Ambient Sounds, choose the one you want to use on the next screen, then tap Done.
  8. Tap back twice to the automation options menu, then tap Done.

Your automation featuring an immersive ambient sound is not set up. You can edit or delete the automation at any time from the Automation tab in the Home app.

Related Roundups: HomePod, HomePod mini

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

iOS 17.4 to Add This 'Groundbreaking' New Messaging Feature

Friday February 23, 2024 5:05 am PST by
With iOS 17.4, set to arrive in March 2024, Apple is bringing a new cryptographic security feature to iMessage called PQ3. This "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks," according to Apple. Let's break down what that means. Apple's iMessage service already supports end-to-end encryption, but security...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...
iOS 17

When Will Apple Release iOS 17.4 for iPhones?

Friday February 23, 2024 11:56 am PST by
Apple has been beta testing iOS 17.4 for nearly a month now. Below, we explain when the update is likely to be released to all users. In its press release announcing major App Store changes in the EU, which were implemented in response to new regulations under the EU's Digital Markets Act, Apple confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released at some point in March:Developers can learn about these...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...