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Friday, September 24, 2021

Apple’s HomePod and HomePod mini can now integrate with music streaming service Deezer

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Owners of Apple’s HomePod and HomePod mini can now connect their smart speakers directly to Deezer and make the music streaming service their default player. That means they can take advantage of the HomePod’s Siri voice controls to navigate their tunes and playlists on Deezer.

To connect the services, you’ll first need to be a paying Deezer subscriber. If you are, head to the Deezer app on your iOS device (make sure you’re on iOS 14.3 or later), hit the settings cog in the top right, then scroll down and hit “Connect with HomePod.” You can then play music from Deezer on your Apple speakers by saying “Hey Siri, play [insert cool and relevant band of choice] on Deezer.”

Alternatively, you can make Deezer your default player from Apple’s Home app and avoid having to specify which streaming service to use. We weren’t able to test this ourselves, but it’s likely the same process as for other third-party streaming services. So go to Home Settings by hitting the house icon in the top left of Apple’s Home app, tap on your face under the “People” section,” then go to “Default Service” and choose Deezer.

Phew. Isn’t it fantastic when these services just work?

Of course, the struggle to offer these sorts of basic, third-party integrations is exactly what’s hurt Apple’s smart speakers, likely contributing to the company’s decision to discontinue the original HomePod in March this year. Despite this, the reasonably-priced and good-sounding HomePod mini still soldiers on. In addition to Deezer, these devices can now directly integrate with other streaming services including Apple Music, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and Pandora.

What’s missing from this list, of course, is Spotify. Although Apple says it’s enabled integration with the music streaming giant, as far as we know Spotify hasn’t switched things on at its end. If you’re searching for an explanation, look no further than the huge lawsuit Spotify is currently pursuing against Apple. As an alternative, you can use Spotify to play music on HomePod speakers, but you’ll need to connect via AirPlay, which is frustratingly slow and lacks voice controls — one of the big draws of using a smart speaker at all.

But hey, that’s what you, the unlucky consumer, get for being stuck between two warring corporations. Enjoy.

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