Apple is known for its seamless integration with its products, and the Apple Watch is no exception. This handy smartwatch can control many aspects of your smart home automation, all through Apple’s familiar and intuitive interface. But can it connect to your HomePod to do even more?
The Apple Watch can connect to the HomePod, although there are some notable limitations (depending on your model). With minimal setup and configuration, users can control volume and select their music on their Apple Watch using AirPlay or a connected iOS device.
Though the integration with the Apple Watch and HomePod is more involved than you might expect from Apple, it is still feasible and only requires a few steps to get started. This article will focus on enabling HomePod controls on your Apple Watch and using AirPlay to control your system.
Enabling HomePod Controls on Your Apple Watch
One quick way to control your HomePod with your Apple Watch is to connect your iOS device (that’s paired with the watch) to your HomePod using AirPlay; this will allow you to access HomePod controls directly on your watch, regardless of what watchOS you have. Here’s a quick guide on connecting your iPhone (or other iOS devices) to a HomePod:
- First, make sure you’re iOS device is already connected to your Apple Watch. The controls will be active through their connection to your mobile device.
- Next, open the Control Center on your iOS device and force press the Music card.
- Once your iOS device connects to the HomePod, you will be able to control the HomePod from your Apple Watch’s controls.
After your Apple Watch is connected to the HomePod controls, you can change the track, pause your music, or adjust the volume using the watch’s crown and on-screen controls.
Using AirPlay on Your Apple Watch
If you’re using an Apple Watch that runs watchOS 4.3 or higher, there is another option to control your HomePod without using a mobile iOS device; this is especially helpful for individuals who use multiple speakers around their house but want simultaneous and universal control.
To connect directly to the HomePod, just navigate to the “Now Playing” screen on your watch and tap the AirPlay icon (located in the bottom left-hand corner). Your Apple Watch will then connect to your HomePod (as long as it’s on the same Wi-Fi network), allowing you to control your devices right from your watch (Source: MacStories).
Now Playing on Apple Watch
Depending on your model, the “Now Playing” feature on the Apple Watch will activate the moment media is playing on a connected iOS device. For example, if you’re listening to Spotify or Apple Music on your iPhone, your watch will display the corresponding information (and provide access to playback controls).
It’s worth noting that “Now Playing” does not appear automatically on your watch unless music or media is playing, so if you don’t see it at first, don’t panic. Additionally, there are several ways you can access the “Now Playing” feature on your Apple Watch:
- Open the “Now Playing” app directly on your Apple Watch.
- While audio or media is playing, tap the “Now Playing” icon (located at the top of the screen).
- Press the crown on the watch and tap “Now Playing” in the Dock.
- Some watch faces have the “Now Playing” button integrated into the watch face.
Regardless of how you access “Now Playing,” this feature is unique in that it allows users to control their HomePod directly from the Apple Watch, without relying on your iOS device as an intermediary.
Note: It’s essential to make sure your devices are up to date to have optimal compatibility with the latest software. If you’re unsure how to update your HomePod, Apple support offers a helpful guide here.
Controlling a HomePod with an Apple Watch: Limitations
Though Apple continues to release updates to its watchOS with more support for connecting devices, some notable limitations still exist.
For example, if you have a Siri-enabled Apple Watch (Series 3 or later), you currently cannot use voice commands to control your HomePod. Phrases like “Hey Siri, play the Beatles” will not be recognized as a valid voice command. However, voice commands do work with a mobile iOS device.
Additionally, unless you have watchOS 4.3 or later, you will be unable to access the “Now Playing” feature unless the music is already playing on your devices. You would have to use your iPhone to connect to the HomePod, then connect your Apple Watch to the phone, which might be a hassle for some users.
If you have an Apple Watch, and you’re looking for ways to control your HomePod directly from the watchOS interface, you’re in luck. Apple is continuously updating its software, allowing access to more controls with your HomePod. However, depending on which Apple Watch model you have, there may be some notable limitations when connecting your devices.
Looking for more ways to integrate your HomePod with other smart devices? Check out this article on whether you can pair Sonos speakers with your HomePod.