HomePod Mini Updates and controlling multiple HomePods

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Ok with Apple it’s usually pretty obvious how to get an update done. You just set things to auto update and then Apple TV or a Mac or an iOS device.

But how would you make a HomePod update itself. That was super unclear to me. That’s like a lot of the Home features and this one isn’t different.

It is supposed to happen automatically by default but I really wanted the 14.4 update so I could try the U1 proximity features. So here is what you have to do to force the update:

  • Update to the latest iOS version
  • Open the Home app
  • Click on the Home icon at the top
  • Select the Home Settings > Software Update

Then it will start amd run on all the HomePod minis in your home. Pretty deep but it works.

Oh and yes, the U1 proximity is cool. As you get closer you get haptic feedback.

Controlling multiple HomePod minis with airplay 2

Ok I don’t have a HomePod so I don’t know how this works but with HomePod mini, the iOS 11 has a pretty cool way to manage multiple homepods or any AirPlay 2 device and what they are playing. I’ve never needed it because we had previously used an old airport express to connect to a stereo but with HomePod mini we have way more than devices.

Basically you can click on the buttons on the right of each device and this gangs together all those HomePod minis to play the same thing. And there is a left arrow too so you can see what’s ganged together.

What’s really confusing is how you can change the audio on a HomePod. But it looks like what you do is start playing on your phone. Then gang home pods together. I couldn’t quite figure out how get a song playing on one and spread it. The UI is pretty unclear. But here is what I found works although the Siri thing may be better (see the next paragraph)

  1. Pick a song or a podcaat that you want on your phone or iPad
  2. Pull down to get the control center and click on the arrow with the radio waves on top. Or when you play a song click on it, look in the middle at the bottom and it is thetr
  3. When you click you should see a list of AirPlay 2 devices and then click on the checkboxes on the right and all those devices will play
  4. To stop playing just unclick the boxes
  5. Also note that you can see all the different things playing on each AirPlay 2 device so if you don’t want to switch you can just hit play or pause.

You can actually see what is playing on each HomePod by dragging down to the control center and hitting the transmit icon at the upper right of the audio button.

Normally this just shows what is playing on your phone but now you can see all the apple airplay devices in your home which is pretty cool.

You can since iOS 11 say things like “Play music everywhere” and this works

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