What you need to know
- Siri can sometimes be way too loud, especially at night.
- It's usually too late to do anything about it when it's woken your family.
- This automation will set the volume for you.
If there's one thing that you're almost guaranteed to have happen to you if you own a HomePod, it's having Siri shout at your when you least expect it. HomePods should adjust their volume based on the ambient sound, but that doesn't work as often as we'd like. And this automation will make sure Siri whispers in the wee hours.
This idea came from Matthew Cassinelli who previously worked on the Workflow app when Apple picked it up. And I'm pretty annoyed I didn't think of it, too.
The gist is simple. Using the automation features built into iOS 13, you can tell the HomePod to reduce its volume between specific times. That lends itself very much to the idea of having Siri quieten itself during the nighttime hours and, in turn, preventing the assistant from waking your whole street just because you asked it to turn the lights on.
Setting it up is dead easy, but I'll let the expert explain the steps.
- Open the Automations tab in the Home app or Shortcuts app (the third tab in both).
- Tap the + in the top right corner and create a new Home Automation.
- From the choices, pick "A Time of Day Occurs" and change it to your desired time, then tap Next. Optionally, change the "Repeat" options for different days of the week or the "People" options based on who is home.
- Scroll past your Scenes to the accessories section and add your HomePod from the list, then tap Next.
- Below the "When" and "Accessories" areas, tap Audio in the Media section.
- In the Media screen, change the option to "Adjust volume only."
- In the Volume section, adjust the slider to your desired volume level, then tap Back.
- Use "Test This Automation" and practice giving Siri a command to hear her response level, then tap Done when you're finished.
Simple, right? You can change the times and the volume based on your specific needs, but this framework should see you right.
Be sure to check out Matt's other work, too. He has a whole load of posts about Siri and Shortcuts that you really ought to check out.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.