HomePod is the new wireless speaker from Apple.
HomePod will take on Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have momentum in the arena of voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the Internet and more. Customers are also reportedly able to receive answers to more complex questions, like “who is a particular musician in a band?” Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple’s HomePod speaker will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes.
HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.1 HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.
For many tech fans, however, the new device’s minimalist appearance overshadowed its technical prowess – and in true Twitteratti fashion, a meme was born.
Alexa and Siri, rival voice assistants on Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s iPhone, don’t directly communicate with one another.
A little later in the day, in a room that is probably as large as my family room at home, I had the opportunity to listen to HomePod and compare its performance to an Amazon Echo and a Sonos Play 3. Google sells Home for US$180, promoting the smart speakers with discounts. Google Home and Amazon Echo have certainly jumped out to a headstart in this category, but that just means Apple has had a chance to sit back and watch the reaction in order to release its own version with hopefully less issues and an emphasis in key areas.
Investors do not believe it will, with Apple shares dipping slightly on the Nasdaq stock market following Monday’s unveiling. It says the HomePod uses an Apple Music subscription for “deep knowledge of personal music preferences”. And while the Mac OS, MacBook and iMac product announcements were interesting and will be useful for business applications, they’re not as critical to home applications.
The iPhone control center, lock screen, and notification center are all getting major visual redesigns, with an eye toward offering more information to the user. He points out that through Bluetooth or a “line out” connection, you can connect a Dot to any compatible speaker of your choice. Apple approaches voice interaction problems programmatically – Siri needs to be able to do X, so here are the ways you can tell it to do X. Google (and to a lesser extent Amazon) created a platform that actually understands context with machine learning. And with Apple’s HomeKit, Apple’s proprietary wireless protocol for controlling third-party smart home gadgets in iOS, HomePod serves as a hub that can control connected lights and thermostats. USA pricing is $349, global pricing information will come a bit later.
New features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages that sync to Apple servers in the cloud. The number of things you can do with an intelligent speaker or any device that is linked to a digital assistant is not, in my opinion, what truly matters.
However, Adam Scott from comparison service PriceSpy said Apple’s “late” arrival to the smart speaker market could prove an advantage.
Apple is finally jumping into the smart speaker craze.