Remember when Apple promised that your HomePod would soon be able to notify you of a wailing smoke alarm? Well, good news: Apple has reportedly enabled the feature, which works on both the new HomePod and the existing HomePod mini.
According to TechCrunch, current HomePod speakers can now use their built-in microphones to detect the sound of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms firing off. If your HomePod hears a smoke alarm going off, it can push notifications to your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Smoke alarm detection happens locally on the HomePod, with no data or recordings sent to the cloud, Apple says.
The feature requires the new Home architecture, which Apple briefly pulled late last year. The Home revamp returned last month with the arrival of iOS 16.4.
TechCrunch says that smoke alarm detection on the HomePod and HomePod mini can be enabled through the Home app, but I’m not seeing the setting on my own iPhone yet. I’ll update this story once I get more details.
Apple first announced the ability for HomePod speakers to detect smoke alarms when it debuted the second-generation HomePod in January.
The ability to detect smoke and carbon monoxide is nothing new for smart speakers. Amazon’s Echo speakers have long been able to detect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms through the Alexa Guard feature, while Google’s Nest and Home smart speakers can detect smoke alarms via Nest Aware.
Both the HomePod and Alexa Guard offer smoke alarm detection for free, while Nest Aware costs $6 a month.
While the HomePod’s smoke alarm detection feature will work with any smoke alarm, there are some HomeKit-compatible smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors available, such as the Onelink Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm from First Alert.