HomePod setup bug afflicts some frustrated owners

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iPhone X
A perplexing HomePod setup bug leaves some people exasperated.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

An apparent bug has left some HomePod owners unable to get their new Apple smart speakers up and running. Complaints about a mysterious “Setup Failed -6722” error message surfaced soon after HomePod launched last Friday.

The problem began trickling onto Apple’s support site, Reddit and other forums over the weekend. The HomePod setup bug seems related to HomeKit and Apple’s Home app. It’s possible some people might not have set up these apps properly prior to firing up their new smart speakers. (Some might not be using them at all.)

As Apple’s Home setup document indicates, it’s essential that you run the latest version of iOS, sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID, and turn on iCloud Keychain to get the Home app running properly.

While Apple took heat recently for a string of high-profile bugs, and reportedly plans to focus on fixing problems and enhancing stability in iOS 12, the HomePod setup bug might stem from people improperly setting up the Home app. But at this early date, it’s hard to tell what’s actually going on.

HomePod Setup Failed -6722

HomePod owners on Reddit expressed frustration over their inability to get their shiny new smart speakers set up. Some users on the Apple support forum said they wasted hours trying to set up HomePod. The most common resolutions seemed to come from resetting the HomePod, reinstalling the Home or Apple Music apps, and other similar workarounds.

The Inquirer’s Carly Page recounted her experience with the HomePod setup bug. She theorized that “it appears the issue stems from a long-running problem with Apple’s ‘Home’ app, which lets users control HomeKit-enabled devices.”

Page’s problem eventually got solved using her partner’s iPhone to set up the HomePod. But not before she spoke with Apple support and got basically nowhere.

Page said the Apple staffer “appeared unaware of the widespread problem. After advising I delete and re-install the Home app, reset my iPhone and factory reset the HomePod, they concluded that no fix was yet available and that they’d get back to me within seven days.”

HomePod Wi-Fi problems?

Meanwhile, MacRumors reports that people’s Wi-Fi settings might be causing some HomePod setup problems.

“If you’re running into a different setup issue, such as a failed Wi-Fi connection, it’s worth noting that HomePod requires a WPA/WPA 2 Wi-Fi network,” the site wrote. “Some MacRumors readers were having problems with HomePod not properly recognizing their WPA network, and a reliable fix appears to be unplugging the HomePod and tweaking Wi-Fi settings to disable both auto join and audio login. HomePod does not work with Enterprise Wi-Fi setups or public or subscription networks with sign-in requirements.”

Lucky me: My HomePod setup was flawless

HomePod sounds pretty great but certainly suffers some flaws — including a nasty tendency to leave white rings on certain wooden tables.

However, HomePod setup proved buttery-smooth for me (and for my colleagues Leander and Ste). My HomePod setup took almost no time at all, and I experienced absolutely no difficulties. I enjoyed one of those magical Apple experiences that make you believe Cupertino can do no wrong.

That said, I set up my HomePod in the Cult of Mac headquarters rather than my own home. The HomePod appears in my Home app as if it were sitting in my house. It’s been working without fail, although I have not yet tried it with any HomeKit accessories.

I’ve been excited about setting up my HomePod as a HomeKit hub (in place of the Apple TV that I currently use). Now I’m a bit nervous about bringing the HomePod home.

Have you encountered any HomePod bugs, or has it been a flawless experience all the way around? Tell us how it all went down in the comments below.