Apple Details HomePod Touch Controls Ahead of Launch

Apple today officially announced that the HomePod will go up for pre-order on Friday, January 26, with sales starting on February 9.

Which means the company can start sharing details about their upcoming smart speaker, and we will more than likely start seeing quite a few ads to promote the new device in the coming days and weeks. Today, Apple has turned to its website to share a few key details on how a future HomePod owner might control the smart speaker without using their voice.

The top o the HomePod can show different things, like the Siri waveform to indicate that the digital personal assistant is being called upon, or, in the case of audio playback, show touch controls. The Siri waveform will show up only when the user is talking to Siri, and it will show up whether the owner accesses Siri by using the voice command, “Hey, Siri,” or by touching-and-holding the top of the HomePod.

When you start listening to audio, there will be a pair of “buttons” that show up on the top of the smart speaker, a minus symbol and a plus symbol. You can tap or hold either button to make the volume go down or up, respectively. You can tap the top of the HomePod to play or pause content, and if you double-tap you will skip to the next audio track, and if you triple-tap it will play the previous track.

These controls are similar in nature to how audio playback is controlled with the AirPods.

Our Take

It’s unfortunate that some features, like Stereo speaker support and multi-room audio, are coming later in the year, but at least they’re still planned for the company’s first smart speaker. It should also go without saying that it’s good Apple is including touch controls on the HomePod, because while using voice is easy, there has to be another option just in case voice isn’t an option for whatever reason.

Are you planning on picking up a HomePod next month?

[via Apple]