Here's how to use multiple timers on the HomePod

Don't limit your HomePod to a single timer, let it label and track as many as you need.

Brian Bennett Former Senior writer
Brian Bennett is a former senior writer for the home and outdoor section at CNET.
Brian Bennett
2 min read
Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Apple announced a slew of new products and software last week, along with multiple timer support for its HomePod smart speaker.

Back when the HomePod debuted in February, the device only let you set a single timer at a time. That's a serious limitation, even for a music-centered speaker. Now that Apple has released its iOS 12 operating system, this shortcoming is a thing of the past. Here's how it works.

Update your iPhone

First make sure your iPhone has the iOS 12 update. Even if your HomePod's software is up to date, the new features won't function with iPhones running older versions of iOS.

Here's how to update to iOS 12.

Update your HomePod

Now that you've got iOS 12 on your iPhone, do the same with your HomePod. There's a chance your speaker has already been updated, since it should do so automatically.

In the Apple Home app, tap the arrow icon at the top left of the screen and scroll to Software update to confirm your speaker has the latest update.

Apple HomePod plays music, controls your smart home

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Set your timers

After both the iPhone and HomePod have iOS 12, using the multiple timers is a snap. It's as easy as saying "Hey Siri , set a timer for 5 minutes" and repeating that process for additional timers.

You can also label them to tell them apart too. Say "Hey Siri, set a steak timer for 18 minutes" and Siri does just that. Want to make you don't overcook one side? Say "Hey Siri, set a flip timer for 9 minutes" and you're good to go.

Keep in mind though, at the moment Siri can't make timers repeat. For example, if you'd like to flip your steak every 2 minutes, you'll have to create a new 2-minute timer each time the old one expires.

Still, multiple timers helps to keep track of multiple items cooking at once. So, timing the veggies in the oven is simple. Say "Hey Siri, set a roast Brussels sprouts timer for 22 minutes" and the HomePod has your back.

Check your timers

It's easy to check the status of any timers you have running as well. Say, "Hey Siri, how much time left on Brussels sprouts timer?" or "Hey Siri, how much time is left on the steak timer?" and Siri will fill you in.

You can ask for an update on all your timers, too. Just say, "Hey Siri, how much time is left on my timers?" or even simply, "Hey Siri, how much time left?"

Stop remaining timers

Sometimes it turns out the timers you set were way too long for the task. There's no need though to let them run out on their own. Save your ears by stopping all current countdowns and their alarms. Say, "Hey Siri, cancel timers". This erases any and all timers still in play.