Apple’s HomePod just needs to be plugged into the wall and paired with mobile devices to start working. Ask her to play something new or play more like what you’re listening to, and Siri will happily oblige. HomePod will be priced at $349 and will be available starting in December, initially in the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia.
There are several significant differences between Amazon’s device and Apple’s newly-announced competitor, including price, shape, and more.
The new HomePod is an impressive piece of hardware.
The A8 chip is the same that comes with AirPods.
The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod’s owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played.
The speaker is then also able to detect its surroundings, Apple says, using room-sensing technology to become aware when it’s placed in the centre or corner of a room and quickly adjusting its output as a result.
Yet how well Apple differentiates its new product with others already widely available is questionable.
Apple’s AirPlay 2 Early Partners.
And, like the other smart speakers, the HomePod can link up with smart devices in the home, such as connected light bulbs, so a user can control them with a spoken command, like switching them on or off. (Its Siri-controlled interface will be compatible with Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem.) That it’s fashionably late to the category is actually an asset. When away from home, HomePod is the flawless home hub, providing remote access and home automations through the Home app on iPhone or iPad.
What Does All This Mean? As great as the HomePod speaker may be, it’s limited in initial functionality.
What remains unknown about HomePod is just how well Siri works within the speaker – it is still yet to be shown off within HomePod. It’s clear Apple has Sonos, probably moreso than Amazon or Google, in its crosshairs.
Apple’s approach to home automation has been measured – cautious, even.
Apple could eventually open the HomePod up to outside developers, much as it did the iPhone and, eventually, Apple TV. Even if they’re not big sellers, it doesn’t really cost Amazon anything, and it gets Alexa in more places. Here’s what you should know if you want to get your hands on Apple’s new smart speaker system. That’s not likely to be a dealbreaker for Apple fans, who will appreciate the fact that this is the only smart speaker to support Apple Music.
Amazon’s Echo is designed for flexibility.
Coming out this autumn as a free software update in the Mac App Store, macOS High Sierra offers an all-new file system, support for high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) and an update to Metal, Apple’s advanced graphics technology. It normalizes the concept of voice commands for smart-home gear, as well as the notion that you don’t need a phone or tablet to control those products.
Shoppers should also take note that while Amazon and Google are known to regularly roll out discounted promotions on its devices-the Echo was going for 0 for Amazon Prime Day last summer-Apple introduces discounts rarely, and pretty much never for brand-new products.
But it’s also possible that the HomePod could expose Siri as less capable than Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant and Microsoft’s Cortana, Blaber said.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled its long-rumored entry into the smart assistant speaker market on Monday.
Apple hasn’t announced an exact date for the release of the HomePod.