Sound Recognition can alert you if your HomePod or iPhone hears certain alarms.
Yesterday Apple supposed people by announcing an all-new 2023 HomePod. The announcement came just a day after Apple announce new M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pros and the new M2 and M2 Pro Mac mini. And Apple still has many new hardware releases planned for 2023.
The 2023 HomePod is a successor to the original HomePod, which Apple discontinued last year. It features much the same design and Siri functionality as the original HomePod, while gaining a new sensor for temperature and humidity. This temperature and humidity sensor is also found in the HomePod mini, but Apple had not enabled functionality for the temperature and humidity sensor in the smaller device – something Apple will do in the next update to the HomePod mini’s software.
But Apple also announced the new 2023 HomePod will feature another new capability in a future software update too (Apple did not reveal a date for that update’s release). The update will enable Sound Recognition on the new 2023 HomePod. Here’s what you need to know about the Sound recognition feature….
What Is HomePod & iPhone Sound Recognition?
Sound Recognition is a feature Apple first introduced to some iPhones with the release of iOS 14. Apple describes the iPhone Sound Recognition as an Accessibility feature that allows the iPhone to notify its users if it hears certain sounds:
Your iPhone can continuously listen for certain sounds—such as a crying baby, doorbell, or siren—and notify you when it recognizes these sounds.
With the announcement of the Sound Recognition feature that will be added to the new HomePod in the future, Apple said, “With Sound Recognition, HomePod can listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and send a notification directly to the user’s iPhone if a sound is identified.”
HomePod & iPhone Sound Recognition: A Warning
As cool as the Sound Recognition feature is, Apple gives a big warning about it when using it on your iPhone. Apple says, “Don’t rely on your iPhone to recognize sounds in circumstances where you may be harmed or injured, in high-risk or emergency situations, or for navigation.”
And for the HomePod, in Apple’s press release, the company noted: “Sound Recognition should not be relied upon in circumstances where users may be harmed or injured, or in high-risk or emergency situations.”
How To Enable Sound Recognition On iPhone
Sound Recognition is a cool accessibility feature that many people will find a nice addition to Apple’s other library of accessibility features. Here’s how to enable Sound Recognition on your iPhone. These instructions are for iPhones running iOS 16.2:
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Accessibility.
- Tap Sound Recognition.
- Toggle the Sound Recognition switch to ON (green).
As the screen with the toggle explains, “Your iPhone will continuously listen for certain sounds, and using on-device intelligence, will notify you when sounds may be recognized.”
How To Enable Sound Recognition On HomePod
Apple has not yet released the Sound Recognition for HomePod (as of January 2023). However, the company says it’s coming in a future update:
“Sound Recognition will be available in a software update later this spring. Sound Recognition may detect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm sounds and send users notifications when recognized. Sound Recognition should not be relied upon in circumstances where users may be harmed or injured, or in high-risk or emergency situations. Sound Recognition requires the updated Home architecture, which will be available as a separate update in the Home app. It requires all Apple devices that access the home to be using the latest software.”
It’s unknown at this time how users will enable Sound Recognition on the HomePod, but Apple will likely release instructions on how to do so when the software update with Sound Recognition rolls out to the HomePod.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.