With HomePod, Apple May Finally Deliver On The Promise Of HomeKit

Angelica Greene
June 9, 2017

This Is a Premium Product : The price of the HomePod, $349, may seem fairly affordable when compared to other Apple products, but at roughly double the price of the Amazon Echo and almost triple that of Google Home, this is a much higher priced than other smart speakers. This new breed of speaker presents a tantalizing future powered by voice, where computing is not tied to a screen. While the Amazon Echo has done an good job integrating with hundreds of various smart home devices through its skill platform, it's limited in its ability to execute on things such as scenes. If you've ever noticed that Siri sometimes gives wildly different answers to queries depending on whether you make them on your Mac, iPad or iPhone, you're far from alone.

Integrated Music Services - Google Home supports third party apps like Pandora, Spotify, Youtube Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Echo supports Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify.

HomePod like all the other Apple devices send information to Apple's server in encrypted form and with your unique Siri identifier that makes your personal information secure.

As for support for third-party developers, Amazon features Alexa Skills while Apple now does not offer a comparable service for the HomePod. Improved navigation features can also suggest lanes when you're driving, so there's no more last minute lane switching in order to make your turn. That's a new focus for Apple as it competes with Google and Amazon.

HomePod is the largest of the three, measuring 6.8 by 5.6 inches, the smart speaker will have an array of seven tweeters with a primary woofer. The chip does all the fancy audio engineering - real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam forming and echo cancellation.

"Yes, some songs may sound pleasing, but for true audiophiles who actually want to hear what the artist and producer intended, Apple's positioning of the HomePod as super high-quality speaker is going to be a very tough sell", O'Donnell said in a blog post. Although there were no details on how this room-adapting feature works, it sounds similar to one already on Sonos speakers, called Trueplay, that uses the microphone in an iOS device to measure a room.

"Apple's base should like it, because they are committed to the ecosystem", Enderle said of HomePod.

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The standalone Bluetooth speaker includes Siri functions, allowing users to ask the appliance questions and control smart home accessories. Users can tell HomePod that they liked a song or to play more songs like the one they're listening to.

The HomePod Is, Above All, A Music Product: The HomePod is built to be a great wireless streaming speaker.

Apple's entry into the market could change this.

Apple will go head-to-head with rivals Amazon and Google, as the USA tech giant throws its hat into the growing smart home arena. Interestingly, Sonos was absent from the list of early speaker partners.

Here's how Apple's HomePod compares to Amazon Echo. But the real competition between Apple, Google and Amazon in smart speakers may come down to the quality of their intelligent assistants. By choosing a music-first, premium approach, Apple appears content to let Amazon win the numbers battle with its lower-cost smart speaker.

We've compared the best bits of each AI-fuelled speaker so you can compare and decide if the HomePod will make it onto your gadget Christmas wish-list when it launches in the United Kingdom in December 2017. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130.

Other reports by GizPress

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