By Don Reisinger
January 25, 2018

Apple’s upcoming smart speaker HomePod will apparently come with features that are designed to automatically protect your privacy.

When it’s released next month, Apple’s HomePod will only work on the iCloud account owned by the person that set it up out of the box, Refinery29 reported on Wednesday after having the opportunity to briefly take the smart speaker for a spin. That means only the designated owner will be able to create reminders, send text messages, and get calendar notifications from the built-in Siri, according to online news and entertainment site.

Additionally, the report said Siri will only call out notifications, including text messages and calendar appointments, when that owner is on the same network as the HomePod. When he or she is away from the network, Siri will not report that someone texted.

Apple unveiled its HomePod last year and pitched it first and foremost as a smart speaker that would deliver far better sound than some of its competitors, including the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

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However, the HomePod is also powered by Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri, allowing users to control smart home gadgets like lights and thermostats. According to Refinery29, Siri will also be able to create and alert users to reminders and read aloud text messages—features that could help folks stay abreast of what’s happening without ever needing to pick up their iPhones.

While HomePod owners will likely find value in Siri not calling out the content of text messages when they’re not home for privacy’s sake, it’s unclear how HomePod would work in a family setting. For instance, some families might have multiple iCloud accounts and in some settings, they might want text messages and calendar information from one iCloud account shared and in other settings, have other iCloud information beaming through the house.

Ultimately, the report sheds light on the sheer number of questions industry watchers have about HomePod and how it will work in a real-world setting. And we likely won’t have answers to all of those questions until the smart speaker hits store shelves on February 9.

Apple did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on HomePod’s privacy features.


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