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Smart Home

Apple HomePod: 6 things it can't do

It's true, there are some things Apple's smart speaker just can't manage yet.

James Martin/CNET

Despite what some would have you think, the Apple HomePod ($499 at Apple) can do a quite a bit. Answer trivia questions, play news reports, play music, play podcasts and -- yes -- it can even tell jokes. 

That said, there are some things the HomePod can't do that it should be able to. 

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Check your calendar

You can send messages, edit reminders or pen notes using Siri on the HomePod, but you can't ask for your daily agenda. "Hey Siri, what's on my agenda" will get you nowhere. 

Create a stereo pair

Apple delayed the HomePod for a couple of months, and yet not all of the software features first announced alongside the speaker were ready. One such feature is the option to connect two HomePod speakers to create a stereo pair.

Apple has said a software update later this year will add the feature.

Stream in multiple rooms

Also anticipated in a software update later this year is the ability to have multiple HomePods in sync throughout your home. Right now, you can use numerous speakers, but each one will have independent controls and playlist.

Act as a Bluetooth speaker

The HomePod's spec sheet may list Bluetooth 5 as a feature, but don't count on pairing the speaker with your Windows or Android devices.

Instead, HomePod only uses AirPlay to stream music from one device to the speaker. And, of course, AirPlay is only available on Apple products or iTunes.

Differentiate voices

As far as Siri is concerned, a voice is a voice is a voice. The HomePod can't currently tell your voice apart from your partner or a visitor.

Hopefully, this is something Apple adds in the future, as sending messages and adding reminders is a significant feature, but one that's limited to a single account right now.

Make phone calls

You can use the HomePod as a speakerphone, but you can't use Siri to start that call on the speaker. Instead, you'll need to use an iPhone ($1,599 at Mobileciti Online) connected to the same Wi-Fi network as HomePod to begin the call, selecting the speaker as the output.