Siri-us business: Everything you need to know about Apple's new HomePod

Posted February 11, 2018

Today is the official release date for Apple's HomePod Speakers and the company just posted cost of repairs for uninsured HomePod customers; $279, which is almost as much as buying a new one for $349. The ads do not usually speak well for the company writing them.

Finally, the HomePod is yet another major brick in Apple's walled garden.

There are no bones about it; HomePod is a superb wireless audio speaker. Audiophiles will appreciate that it has a woofer with a custom amplifier and seven tweeters. Apple has marketed HomePod's superior audio quality as its defining feature, and some have wondered how well the speaker will be able to project itself in retail settings which are often noisy and crowded.

At full volume, you can actually feel harmonic vibrations from your environment - your chair, sofa, what have you.

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Apple's newest product, a smart speaker called HomePod, hit stores today and the reviews are generally positive. The HomePod also works only with iOS devices.

I remember reading the estimates for HomePod sales back in July of 2017 and it was clear that Apple would have stiff competition from Amazon and Google. It's not uncommon for Apple products to sell out on the first day, so selling out almost 2 weeks later is a bit of a red flag but expected. But the potential for automation with a quick voice command could end up a huge timesaver. "I would like to see Siri do more in the Apple ecosystem so I could control things like the calendar". It can't yet control iOS devices or Apple TVs, and it can't distinguish between multiple users' voices.

This can't be said of other smart speaker manufacturers, who collect data from every request sent back to headquarters and compile it into a comprehensive user record. "Siri doesn't even work as well on HomePod as it does on the iPhone". It's cylindrical in shape and slightly less than 7 inches tall, making it about the same size as a Sonos One, but considerably smaller than the Home Max.

Siri is limited predominantly to Apple services right now, which includes communications features, like messages and phone calls. The company also made a decision to compile that playlist on Spotify, for a reason: At this point, Homepod users can't launch Spotify playlists on the device. Siri also allows users to control HomeKit smart home accessories.

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Most notably, which one plays music the best?

"I think Siri could be expanded". Though the feature isn't yet available, Apple has apparently backed off of calling two-HomePod synchronization "stereo", and plans to separately release two-speaker and multi-room modes at unspecified future dates.

Select Apple Authorised Resellers, including Best Buy in the US; Argos, Dixons Carphone (Currys PC World), John Lewis, Shop Direct (Very and Littlewoods), EE and Apple Premium Resellers in the United Kingdom; and The Good Guys, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, Myer and Telstra in Australia, have also started selling the HomePod locally.

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