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Apple HomePod: All the tips and tricks you need to know

Curious about a specific HomePod feature? Or what about those nasty rings on wood surfaces? Read this.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Six months after its debut, Apple's HomePod ($499 at Apple) is ready for more features. Starting Sept. 17, you can install the latest update, which brings voice dialingFind My iPhone and multiple timers to the speaker.

Here we break down how to update your HomePod and how to make the most of all of its features.

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How to update the Apple HomePod

On Sept. 17, you'll be able to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 12. You'll need to do this first before you can bring your HomePod up to speed. Follow our guide here to update your iOS device to iOS 12.

Once that's done, go to the Home app, which is your hub for the HomePod. Tap on the small, round arrow button at the top left of the screen. Scroll down to Software Update and tap Install to proceed. 

You'll see a spinning white light on the top of the speaker during the update process. Learn more about the HomePod update process here.

The Apple HomePod features you should know

Despite lacking a dedicated app on your iOS device, or an interface on the HomePod itself, there's quite a bit you can do with Apple's smart speaker. Below are some tips and tricks. 

Initial setup is a breeze. Plug it in, wait a few seconds, unlock your iOS device and wait for an alert. It's incredibly cool and incredibly easy.

Change these settings. We walk you through finding the HomePod's settings, and which settings have an impact on the overall experience.

apple-homepod-setup
Jason Cipriani/CNET

From controls to blocking explicit music, we offer several tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the HomePod.

"Siri, call Mom." You can now make phone calls through HomePod.

Spotify users, you're in luck… kind of. The HomePod may not work directly with Spotify or Google Play Music, but there is a way to avoid using Apple Music and still use the HomePod.

Two speakers equals stereo sound. If you happen to own two HomePods, you can connect them to play in stereo or stream the same audio to multiple speakers in different rooms. Here's how to do it.

Yes, it leaves a ring. But you can prevent the silicone band along its bottom from damaging your wood table, desk or shelf.

Surely, there's plenty more for us to discover. We will keep updating this post as needed.

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