Amazon has first-mover advantage. Unlike Amazon’s new Echo Show, Apple’s device does not have a screen. But he saw a big negative – it is more expensive. It’s since improved, and Google seems committed for the long haul, but it’s struggling to make up lost ground.
There’s still a lot left to explore about the Apple HomePod smart speaker. You don’t necessarily need the smallest or prettiest smart speaker because fewer people see and judge your status by it like they do with your phone. It has “spatial awareness” to detect where it’s located a room and adjust the sound accordingly. Pricing of the device is also yet to be revealed.
HomePod will initially be available from December in the UK, US and Australia. This thing better sound really, really good.
On paper, Apple’s choice to present the HomePod a Sonos-esque high-end audio speaker that’s powered by Siri compared to a Siri-powered home assistant is deliberate and a concession. Just ask Siri to cool the room or close the garage door. Siri will be voice activated to respond to requests for information and other help around the house. So Apple is forced to focus on music, because Siri simply can’t stand up as a home assistant.
It wouldn’t be the first time that Apple hopped on the bandwagon of a technology product popularized by a competitor.
Apple did use WWDC to preview iOS 11, which is due to launch for iPhone and iPad this autumn. However, the Cupertino, California-based company has yet to spring into the home speaker market – that is, until now.
“Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos“. If that doesn’t happen before the speaker launches later this year, however, the two colors Apple has picked are at least subtle and non-offending.
But the smart speaker market is still nascent.
In contrast, the reviewers have criticized regarding the sound quality of both, Google and Amazon speakers. Now it sells 40 million units a year.
Going head-to-head with Google Home’s speech recognition or Amazon Echo’s voice command developer ecosystem could have been disastrous. They can call. I hope there is a day when that happens. This will be much more accessible than the previously used Airplay, which inconveniently required users to plug into other devices such as, iPhones or MacBooks. HomePod will be able to play music, read the news, send and receive iMessages, set reminds, listen to Podcasts, provide answers to general questions, check the weather and perform many other tasks. It was not clear how Amazon and Apple came to terms on the video player.
Apple hopes its HomePod will rival the Amazon Echo, Google Home and the coming Essential Home. But while that sharp-elbowed competition can be tough on companies, it’s ultimately good for the consumer.
For smart home users, the three speakers will take a similarly narrow split for compatible devices.