The Apple HomePod provides quality sound and smart home control, all accessible with Siri voice commands. They can be used in a variety of applications and can seamlessly integrate with other iOS devices. Given these features, I wanted to know if that meant that HomePods could work with multiple users in a household.
HomePods can work with multiple users and only require a few additional setup steps to get started. By adding multiple users to your HomePod, your entire household can access features like controlling smart devices and playing music.
Apple had multiple-user support in mind when they designed their HomePod. In addition to adding users, you can also choose which information you want to keep private from others sharing the device. This article will look at how to set up your HomePod in a multi-user household and some tips to customize access.
Setting Your HomePod Up for Multiple Users
Adding multiple users to your HomePod is relatively straightforward; however, a few steps are required. Additionally, depending on how you use your system, some initial customization is recommended, especially if you want to restrict specific features.
Inviting Users to Access HomePod Controls
Inviting users to your HomePod will allow members of your household to access playback controls and other features of your system. Here are some steps to invite users:
- Open the Home app on your mobile iOS device and tap “Home.”
- Next, tap the “Home Settings” icon (shaped like a house located on the upper left side) and tap “Invite.”
- You will then be prompted for the invited user’s Apple ID information.
- Tap “Send Invite” to the indicated Apple ID.
Once the invitation has been sent, the added user will simply need to open the Home app on their iOS device and navigate to “Home Settings.” From there, tap “Accept,” and you’ll be automatically added to the HomePod.
Using Siri Voice Recognition with Multiple Users
A particularly useful feature with a multi-user HomePod setup is the ability to have Siri differentiate between your household’s voices. The “Recognize my Voice” feature allows Siri to learn your name, access your specific music library, and even control HomeKit accessories from your HomePod.
A single HomePod can support up to six users in a single household (including voice recognition). Even if you have more than six users, you can still use Siri to play music on your HomePod (Source: Apple Support).
Now that we know how to invite and add users to a HomePod, what about the information we want to keep private? Can users restrict access to certain content on the HomePod?
How to Keep Information Private with Multiple Users
With all modern technology, security and privacy are becoming more relevant, and Apple’s HomePod is no exception. Adding users is just a matter of a few steps and restricting access is similarly intuitive. Let’s look at how to keep sensitive information private with multiple users.
Managing Personal Requests
Personal Requests allows users to check their calendar events, send and read messages, create notes, and more. You can also run Siri shortcuts directly from your iOS device with Personal Requests. Users can choose which HomePod speakers will respond to Personal Requests for added security (Source: Apple Support).
The downside of using Personal Requests on a multi-user HomePod is that all users will see the same information, potentially allowing access to sensitive data. Though you can require authentication for Personal Requests, this will only restrict access to notes.
If you’re looking to restrict additional access to all your sensitive information, Apple has you covered. Here are some steps to get started:
- Open the “Home app on your mobile iOS device and tap “Home.”
- Next, open the “Home Settings” and tap your avatar under “People.”
- Select “Personal Requests” and toggle the switch to “Off.”
Additionally, you can leave it on and still require authentication by tapping “Require Authentication” then “For Secure Requests.” This will require authentication for accessing certain features of your HomePod.
Preventing Changes to Personal Recommendations
“Personal Recommendations” is a feature with Apple Music that will automatically learn musical preferences from requested songs. A potential issue with a multi-user system is that family members may have different tastes in music. With this in mind, you may not want to have an added user’s music preference affect your “Personal Recommendations.”
To prevent this from happening, launch the Home app and press and hold the HomePod icon. Next, tap “Details” and toggle off “Use Listening History.” This will allow your household to request the songs they like without affecting your Personal Recommendations.
Apple’s HomePod provides quality sound and a variety of smart home features. The ability to add multiple users is undeniably a selling point for many consumers. Additionally, restricting access to the information you want to be kept private makes it a secure solution for multi-user households.