HomePod update adds multi-user support, ambient sounds, Handoff, and sleep timers

The iOS 13.2 update to HomePod adds features we’ve long been waiting for.

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Apple released iOS 13.2 today. HomePod uses a sort of customized version of iOS, and is updated through the Home app on an associated iPhone. So HomePod updates are often associated with iOS updates, and the HomePod update that comes with iOS 13.2 is particularly impactful. 

Editor's note: Apple has pulled the iOS 13.2 update for HomePod. We will update this article when Apple reissues the update.

This update brings several of the features that Apple has long promised for its smart speaker, and which its competitors have enjoyed for years. The official release notes lists them quite concisely:

iOS 13.2 provides support for new HomePod features:

  • The ability for HomePod to recognize the voices of different family members to provide a personalized experience

  • Handoff music, podcasts or phone calls by bringing your iPhone close to HomePod

  • Add music to your HomeKit scenes

  • Play relaxing high-quality soundtracks with Ambient Sounds

  • Set sleep timers to fall asleep to music or Ambient Sounds

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How to update your HomePod

By default, your HomePod should update automatically, but that can take several days. You can force the update by doing this:

  1. First, update the iPhone to which your HomePod is associated to iOS 13.2.
  2. Then open the Home app.
  3. Tap the House icon in the upper left.
  4. In the Speakers & TVs section, tap Software Update.
  5. One the update in finished downloading, tap Install.

It will take a few minutes to update, then you can enjoy these new features.

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