Apple is now taking pre-orders for the HomePod, but there is some confusion as to whether services like Spotify and devices the Apple TV can be used with the speaker. 

The HomePod will cost you $349 and will be available in stores on Feb. 9. The speaker was revealed last June during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference and was due in December. However, Apple pushed the release date to February instead.

The HomePod’s price is much higher than other speakers on the market, like the Google Home, Amazon Echo devices and the Sonos One. While some reviews have praised the device’s sound, there are some things customers should know before buying the speaker.

What does The HomePod Work With?

Music Streaming Services

Amazon Echo devices and the Google Home works with multiple music streaming platform. The Google Home supports YouTube music, Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify, Google Play Music and iHeart Radio, while Echo gadgets work with Amazon’s Prime Music service, Sirius XM, as well as Pandora and Spotify.

Unfortunately, the HomePod does not work with other music streaming platforms except the Cupertino company’s own Apple Music service. This means users will be forced to pay a monthly fee for Apple Music if they want to listen to music on the speaker. Apple Music costs $9.99, but customers can get a three-month free trial.

Using Apple Music with the HomePod means Siri will be able to cater to the user’s music taste. With a voice command, Siri will be able to find and play music based on what they the user usually listens.

Multi-Room Playing Options

The HomePod will be able to recognize when another speaker is placed in the home. The speakers will “communicate with each other” through AirPlay 2. With AirPlay 2, users will be able to play audio across their HomePods in different rooms. Users will also be able to control other speakers that are compatible with AirPlay 2, like the Sonos One.

However, AirPlay 2 won’t launch until later this year. Meanwhile, other smart speakers already support multi-room music playing.

homepod The Apple HomePod powered by Siri. Photo: Apple

Devices Compatible With HomePod

The HomePod is compatible with the iPhone 5s or later, the iPad Pro, 5th generation iPad, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, and the 6th generation iPod touch. The devices should be running on iOS 11.2.5 or later to work with the HomePod.

HomePod Compatibility With Apple TV And Macs

While some speakers connect to TVs for home theater sound, the HomePod doesn’t work with the Apple TV or Macs. However, it is possible the speaker could work with the Apple TV and Mac computers in the future.

homepod-siri-interact The Apple HomePod is Apple's latest home device release. Photo: Apple

HomeKit Accessories

The HomePod will work with HomeKit smart home accessories, which means users can ask Siri to turn the lights off, change the temperature in the room, plus other tasks. Users can also get Siri to turn multiple accessories on at once by setting up scenes in the Home app, like “Good Morning.”