You have one HomePod in your living room and four people who want to use it. How do they make use of their own playlists, podcasts, calendars, reminders and lists?
In our initial assessment of HomePod, we found it to be a great listening device for Apple Music or Podcast, but it was very limited in many ways. That is still largely true, but at least some of our complaints have been resolved in the next software update.
Perhaps the most important is the iOS 13.2 update which adds multi-user support for HomePod. As a device designed to sit in a shared room in your home, it is frustrating to be locked into an Apple ID, and whoever uses it will listen to your music (and influence your recommendations), your list, your calendar …
You can now use HomePod to recognize multiple users, which means each user will use their own Apple Music account, calendar, list and reminder. Setting up this isn’t as intuitive as possible, so here’s a quick step on how to make it work.
HomePod multi-user requirements
To use multi-user support on HomePod, you must meet several requirements.
First, make sure your iPhone (and those of other users) have been updated at least for iOS 13.2.
Make sure your HomePod is updated to iOS 13.2 too. To check, open the Home application on the iPhone that is linked to your HomePod. Tap the House icon at the top left. In the Speaker & TV section, tap Software Update.
The iOS 13.2 update adds several important new features to HomePod, including multi-user support, handoffs for music, ambient noise, sleep timer, and music in the Home scene.
You must also enable two-factor authentication on your Apple ID.
Every user who wants to be recognized by HomePod needs to be added as a user in the Home apps by the person who set up HomePod. In other words, you will share access to HomePod in the same way as you share access to smart lights, smart keys, and so on.
Every user who wants to be identified by your HomePod must be part of your Home group.
Each user must have a location enabled, and be set to their main iPhone. Go to Settings> tap your name at the top> Find Me> and turn on Share My Location. Then set My Location to This Device. This is needed to keep the House Code from allowing access to your account when you are clearly not at home.
Set up HomePod to recognize other users
After each user meets the requirements above, they will get a popup in the Home application that says HomePod can recognize their voice. They just need to press Continue.
If you are part of the Home group with HomePod and meet all other requirements, you will be asked if you want it to recognize your voice.
If they don’t get a notification, and they believe that all of the above requirements are fulfilled, then they can check manually. Ask each user that you want to add to open the Home application and press the home icon at the top left. They must see themselves listed under People along with the person who manages HomePod, and everyone who has access to that Home.
Each user in the Home group can enable or disable recognizing their voice, or turning off Personal Requests.
They have to tap their names, and then make sure the Recognize My Voice is activated. Each user can tap on a Personal Request to enable or disable the feature, which provides access to messages, calls, reminders and calendar.
Still having trouble getting Siri to recognize other users? Ask each of them to turn off Get to Know My Voice and turn it on again, wait a few minutes. You can also try restarting your HomePod. Open the Home application, tap and hold HomePod, then tap Settings. Scroll down and select Reset HomePod.