Two white homepods sitting on a television standSource: iMore

Even though the HomeKit ecosystem has grown over the past few years, a crucial piece of the security side of the platform has yet to materialize: alarm systems. Thankfully, iOS 13.2 on iOS and the HomePod now allows you to use Apple's speaker (or other AirPlay 2 enabled speakers) in automations, giving us the ability to create our own DIY security systems. Here's our guide on how to get it all set up.

Products used in this guide

How to use a HomePod as a HomeKit alarm

  1. Launch the Home app.
  2. Tap on Automation on the bottom menu bar.
  3. Tap on +.

    Steps 1-3 on how to set up a HomePod as a HomeKit alarmSource: iMore

  4. Choose A Sensor Detects Something.
  5. Tap on the Accessory that you want to use as your trigger for the HomePod.
  6. Tap on the relevant action, such as Opens or Motion Detected for your accessory.

    Steps 4-6 detailing how to use a HomePod as a HomeKit alarmSource: iMore

  7. Tap Next.
  8. Select your HomePod.
  9. Tap on Play Audio.

    Steps 7-9 detailing how to use a HomePod as a HomeKit alarmSource: iMore

  10. Tap Choose Audio.
  11. Type in the name of the album in the Search field for the sound that you wish to use.
  12. Tap on the name of the Album for the desired sound.

    Steps 10-12 detailing how to use a HomePod as a HomeKit alarmSource: iMore

  13. Tap on the + icon next to the sound that you would like to use.
  14. Toggle on the Repeat option.
  15. Tap on Set Custom Volume and set accordingly.

    Steps 13-15 detailing how to use a HomePod as a HomeKit alarmSource: iMore

  16. Tap on Back.
  17. Tap on Turn Off and set your desired duration for how long your alarm should sound.
  18. Tap Done.

    Steps 16-18 detailing how to use a HomePod as a HomeKit alarm.Source: iMore

You now have your HomePod all set up to activate the assigned alarm sound when a motion event occurs or when a contact sensor opens. To stop your alarm when it is activated, simply tell Siri on the HomePod to stop, or you can create a scene that pauses playback on the HomePod and assign it as a favorite in the Home App for easy access. Need some help setting up a scene? Check out our guide to get things set up the right way.

Additional Equipment

Protecting your home with HomeKit and a HomePod is easy if you have the right gear. Want to cover a large area with just one device? Then a motion sensor is probably your best bet. These handy helpers are an easy, set it and forget it solution to covering areas such as living rooms. Need to cover multiple rooms? Then a contact sensor is the way to go. Contact sensors attach right to your doors and windows, letting you know the moment it opens.

Of course, you are also going to need an Apple Music subscription to select the sounds that will keep your intruders at bay. There are tons of sounds available, including horns, buzzers, sirens, and even dogs barking, all just a tap away.

Apple Music Subscription (Starting at $4.99 a month)

An Apple Music subscription is essential for the full-blown HomePod experience. In addition to its massive library of songs, Apple Music is also home to tons of sound effects perfect for using as a security alarm.

Eve Door & Window ($40 at Amazon)

The Eve Door & Window is a tiny two-piece accessory that attaches directly to a point of entry and uses Bluetooth to relay whether or not it is opened or closed. This sensor talks to HomeKit, allowing you to use it in automations such as this one for making an alarm.

Philips Hue Motion ($40 at Amazon)

If you want the fastest responding HomeKit motion sensor around, then look no further then the Philips Hue Motion. This sensor works with HomeKit to provide instant notifications, and more importantly, to set off security automations.

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