Apple HomePod Smart Home

How can you use an iPhone to identify music on a HomePod?

iPhone being used to handover music to a HomePod
Switch speakers easily with Apple's Handoff feature

Whether you have the original Apple HomePod or the replacement HomePod Mini, there are various ways to use your iPhone to identify the music that it’s playing. On top of that, there’s a natty feature that allows you to transfer music to and from both devices. Read on to find out how to do each with ease.

How to use your iPhone to identify music that’s playing

There are 3 ways to do this and each has its own pros and cons.

Move your iPhone close to a HomePod Mini

This trick only works on a HomePod Mini (i.e. not the original, full-size HomePod) but if you move your unlocked iPhone within a couple of inches of the device, a pop-up will appear and identify the music currently playing. You can’t miss it as the phone will vibrate constantly.

Notification on the iPhone showing currently playing music on a HomePod
An iPhone showing the radio station that’s playing on a HomePod Mini

If you move it even closer, then a larger window will appear showing the full information. Here are 2 screenshots showing a radio station playing, as well as a streamed song, respectively:

Use Shazam

If you install the free Shazam app onto your iPhone (there’s a very useful application for Apple Watch owners too!) then you can use this app to listen to the music and identify it for you. The advantage here is that it will tell you what music is playing on radio stations – as you can see from the above screenshots, Apple will often just show the station name.

In addition to this, if you head to Settings > Control Centre on your iPhone you can add “Music Recognition” to the Control Centre (which you access by either dragging from the bottom of your iPhone or the top-right, depending on model). This provides a quick and easy method of accessing Shazam.

Ask Siri

This is the simplest method. Just say “Hey Siri, what’s playing?” and it will tell you. However, this gives similar results as holding your iPhone to the HomePod, so radio stations will often just be reported as the station name rather than the song that’s playing.

How do I transfer music between an Apple HomePod and iPhone?

Known as Handoff, there are different methods depending on whether you’re using an original HomePod or HomePod Mini.

Using Handoff on an Apple HomePod

If you hold your unlocked iPhone within a couple of inches of your HomePod then a pop-up will appear, similar to this:

Notification showing the transfer of music from iPhone to HomePod

If you continue to keep it held close then, after a few seconds, whatever is playing will be transferred from the HomePod over to the iPhone. The HomePod will stop and your iPhone will continue playing.

Do the same again to pass what’s playing back to the HomePod.

Using Handoff on an Apple HomePod Mini

If you move your unlocked iPhone within a couple of inches of the device, a pop-up will appear showing what’s currently and the phone will vibrate. However, move it closer and a larger popup will appear with the full information on it, similar to this:

Large popup showing the music currently playing on an Apple HomePod

Click the “Transfer to iPhone” button to send what’s playing to your iPhone. Your HomePod Mini will fall quiet and your iPhone will continue to play whatever was previously on the HomePod.

Reverse this process to send the music back to your HomePod Mini.

Want to learn even more about your HomePod? Find out what the different coloured lights mean in our guide.

About the author

David Artiss

Currently working for a technology company based in San Francisco, David has worked in IT for nearly 30 years. He is a keen gamer and happily admits to being a gadget nerd too.

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