This new breed of speaker presents a tantalizing future powered by voice, where computing is not tied to a screen. While many experts believe that Amazon's product is now stronger than Apple's (especially its activation command) and more competitively priced, it may not take long for Apple to add features and improve its Home Pod.
It is Siri-enabled and using the 6 microphones, it is capable of absorbing "Hey, Siri" commands from the environment.
Instead of seeing Siri as the HomePod's main goal, look at it like the cherry on top of a delicious, Wi-Fi connected cake: It can clearly integrate with dozens of smart home appliances right out of the gate and answer any questions you might have, but those aren't the sorts of things that the HomePod will excel at. The HomePod is the new digital speaker that will come loaded with Siri, similar to Amazon's Echo and Google Home which packs Alexa and Google Assistant respectively. Other services like Pandora and Spotify can be played through Apple's AirPlay system, however this still a detriment compared to the direct streaming from virtually every music service offered by the HomePod's competitors.
Apple's HomePod speakers won't be arriving before fall.
The speaker has 7-beam forming tweeters and a 4-inch woofer facing upwards. It has an Apple A8 Chip inside that will intelligently sculpt sound to match the environment it's in.
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"It's the biggest brain inside a speaker", Apple marketing head Phil Schiller proclaimed. Second, it needs to be spatially aware.
However, Apple insists that its HomePod speakers won't be competing directly against the likes of the aforesaid.
With consumers less interested in buying new tablets, Apple has increased its focus on designing tablets for professionals to do much of the same work that they usually perform on a laptop computer. Without one, users can only ask Siri to play podcasts or BeatsOne radio. The other two have a much broader music support.
The introduction of a high-quality smart speaker from Apple puts some serious pressure on Sonos, an early leader in the connected speaker market.
Amazon created the smart speaker market in 2014 with the release of the Echo.
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I hate to bring the rain on Apple's parade but I'm surprised that people are ignoring the obvious fact that there's practically nothing special about Homepod - except that it was made by Apple of course. When tested against Sonos speakers and the Amazon Echo, the sound was superior.
Google and Amazon are betting that majority customers will just not care for it.
Apple has announced the HomePod, a breakthrough wireless speaker for the home that delivers fantastic audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio. But Siri's fundamental comprehension capabilities remain subpar.
As the rumor mill had predicted, it seems that Amazon and Apple have finally settled a years-long running feud, and Amazon Prime Video will soon be available to Apple TV users. The HomePod is not expected to ship until December 2017, and it will cost $349, that is almost twice as the Echo ($179) and Google Home ($129) and is expensive.
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