How to stream and control Spotify on your Apple HomePod

You can play music from third-party apps using AirPlay – here's how…

How to use Spotify on an Apple HomePod
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There has been quite a fuss made of Apple's approach to the HomePod, with a lot of people calling it a walled garden affair.

However, that's not strictly true – you can stream Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, Pandora, your favourite internet radio stations and a whole lot more on a HomePod using AirPlay.

The HomePod or HomePod Mini can do everything that any other regular AirPlay speaker does, so if your favorite streaming app is on iOS and has an AirPlay option then you can beam over your tunes. That does, of course, mean getting out your iPhone or iPad to get things started.

It means no "Hey Siri, play Kanye West on Spotify" or "Hey Siri, wake me up at 7.30am with KEXP", as there is with Amazon's Echo speakers or Google's Home devices – both of which even let you set Spotify as a default ahead of their own in-house streaming services.

Siri may not be as smart as it is during Apple Music sessions when it comes to answering questions or offering up alternatives, when using Spotify or other alternatives over AirPlay – but that's not to say Apple's digital assistant goes mute. You'll have no issues with basic playback controls and Siri can still relay band and song information (from Wikipedia) most of the time.

Anyway, on with the main event and, given that Spotify is the most popular streaming service on earth – and that AirPlay on it can be a bit fiddly – we thought we'd talk you through streaming Spotify to your Apple HomePod.

Music streaming on HomePod update

During the launch event for the new Apple HomePod Mini, Apple revealed that more streaming services will be available on the HomePod ecosystem.

"HomePod Mini is designed to work with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio,, and TuneIn, and in the coming months, popular music services including Pandora and Amazon Music," is the official word from Cupertino.

However, while Spotify wasn't listed as one of the music streaming partners in the presentation, it was confirmed in a briefing with The Ambient that Apple "would love to work with Spotify."

Until that all goes live though, this is how to get Spotify on your HomePod or HomePod Mini.

Spotify app streaming to HomePod

using spotify with homepod

Firstly, open the Spotify app on your iPhone or iPad and choose the song you want to get things started with.

Click the 'Devices Available' button at the bottom, select 'More Devices' and then choose your HomePod speaker.

Alternatively, if you're already listening to Spotify on your iPhone and you want to switch the sound to your smart speaker, you can do so without opening up the Spotify app. From Control Center, the music tile will show whatever song you're currently streaming on your phone.

How to stream and control Spotify on your Apple HomePod

Simply 3D Touch (or long press if you've got an older iPhone) and press the AirPlay button. Select your HomePod speaker and the music will stop playing on your phone's speaker (or headphones) and transfer immediately over to your HomePod. You can also just use the widget on the iPhone's lock screen to do the same thing.

The key is choosing a playlist or an album that you basically want to listen to in order. Sure, you can skip tracks but that's about it – there's no requesting Siri to jump to a new collection. Anytime you do want to switch things up you'll be relying on your iPhone or iPad's display to select a new playlist or album.

Since AirPlay 2 arrived - adding multi-room and stereo to the HomePod - you can, of course, choose to play your Spotify tunes back through multiple speakers, or a duo that have been set up as a pair. Simply use the method as outlined above, and check the options for the multiple HomePods, or choose a pre-set stereo pair.

airplay settings spotify

Spotify voice commands for HomePod

You can do most of the usual track controls that you'd get with Apple Music – the big exceptions being skipping tracks forward and playing the previous track ("Hey Siri, play the previous song" just restarts the current song, weirdly).

Here are the ones you'll use the most…

  • "Hey Siri, turn the volume up."
  • "Hey Siri, turn the volume to [x]%."
  • "Hey Siri, turn the volume down."
  • "Hey Siri, pause this song."
  • "Hey Siri, resume the song."
  • "Hey Siri, play the next song."

Musicologist and Siri interactions with Spotify on HomePod

As we mentioned above, you can't ask Siri to play certain albums or playlists (or even songs) on Spotify or other third-party streaming services – you'll need to kick start every session on your iOS device. But that doesn't mean that Siri takes a break during your Spotify HomePod sessions.

As well as the control commands listed above, you can also tap into Siri's (well, Wikipedia's) music knowledge to get track and artist info.

Try these out for starters…

  • "Hey Siri, what song is this?"
  • "Hey Siri, when was this song released?"
  • "Hey Siri, what album is this on?"
  • "Hey Siri, who plays the drums in this band?"
  • "Hey Siri, tell me about this artist."

Spotify to HomePod using your Mac

Your Mac has AirPlay built in, right? And you can already send Spotify music from your Mac to your Apple TV using the AirPlay button in the top bar, right?

So, surely you'll be able to stream music from your Spotify app on Mac to your HomePod, right?

Wrong. There's currently no way of doing this. The Spotify desktop app itself doesn't list AirPlay speakers and, for some reason. the Mac AirPlay option in the menu bar only lists Apple TVs, not HomePods (even weirder because you can AirPlay to a HomePod from iTunes on a Mac).

But there is a workaround. You can play any sounds from your Mac, Spotify and more, over AirPlay to your HomePod - but you'll need to dive into your System Preferences. From there, choose 'Sound' and choose your HomePod as the device for sound output.

TAGGED    apple home    smart speakers

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