Creating personalized Siri HomePod announcements

Cupertino, September 15, 2023

Notifications from Apple's Home app are a great way to keep an eye on your smart home, if you always have your iPhone or Apple Watch with you. Wouldn't it be nice if Siri on your HomePod announced when a sensor detects motion or when a door or window opens? MUO VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT While you can't do everything from the Home app, you can make it happen. All you need is a little patience, the right combination of hardware and software, and this manual. We show you how.

Custom Siri Announcements: What You Need

While the process of creating custom Siri announcements is relatively simple, it requires multiple devices, apps, and services to make the magic happen. First, you'll need a HomePod or HomePod mini smart speaker, as it will play your custom Siri announcements via HomeKit automation. Second, you need an active subscription to Apple Music to save your announcements to the cloud. If you don't have a subscription, there are a number of ways you can get Apple Music for free. All it takes is a few taps or clicks to get started. Third, you'll need a Mac to create your custom announcements in the Shortcuts app and transfer them to your Apple Music Library. In the Shortcuts app, you enter the text you want Siri to speak, and then use it to convert the text into a compatible audio file. And finally, you'll need an iPhone or iPad to build your HomeKit automation. Unfortunately, macOS doesn't currently support audio in the Home app, so the final step in the process will require you to switch to your iOS device.

Step 1: Create a custom Siri announcement in the Shortcuts app

Creating your custom Siri announcements starts in the Shortcuts app for macOS. It may look and sound a little intimidating if you're new to Shortcuts, but don't worry; we will guide you step by step through the process.

- Launch the Shortcuts app on your Mac.

- Tap the Add button.

- Search for text and drag it to your shortcut.

- Type your message in the text field.

- Search for Create spoken audio from text and drag it to your shortcut.

- Search for Encode Media and drag it to your shortcut.

- Click Show more, then click Audio only.

- Search for Save File and drag it to your shortcut.

- Click the Run Shortcut button.

- Choose a location on your Mac and click Open to save your file.

That's all it takes to create your custom Siri announcement in the Shortcuts app. However, you need to do a few more things before it starts playing automatically on your HomePod.

Step 2: Add Your Custom Siri Announcement to Apple Music

Next, you need to transfer your audio file to your Apple Music library on your Mac. This part is quick and easy and only requires a few steps.

- Launch the Music app on your Mac.

- Click File on the menu bar.

- Click Import.

- Navigate to your file and then click Open.

Although your audio file will immediately appear next to your Apple Music library on your Mac, it will take a few moments before it makes its way to the cloud. Before you continue, make sure it is available on your iOS devices.

Step 3: Use Your Custom Siri Announcement in HomeKit Automation

With your audio file in Apple Music, now it's time to put your HomePod to good use with HomeKit Automation on your iOS device. Through automation, your HomePod will automatically play your custom announcement based on the status of a HomeKit device, such as a contact sensor on a door which we will use as an example.

- Launch the Home app on your iOS device.

- Tap the Add button and then tap Add Automation.

- Tap A sensor detects something.

- Tap your sensor and then tap Next.

- Tap Opens followed by Next.

- Tap your HomePod and then tap Next.

- Tap Play Audio, then choose Audio... Tap Apple Music, then choose your file from your library.

- Tap Use current volume or Set custom volume and adjust accordingly.

- Tap Back and then Done to save your automation.

With this automation, your custom announcements will automatically play when your door opens. If you want to fine-tune your automation, you can set times for it to be active or link it to a person's location.

Custom Siri Announcements Can Help You Stay Informed

By creating custom Siri announcements, your HomePod can keep you informed of events in and around your home. Of course, your announcements aren't limited to automation; you can also use them in Scenes, which opens up a world of possibilities.

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