A Sneak Peek Into Apple's Home Music Speaker; The HomePod

Adjust Comment Print

These are a more affordable solution than Apple's ecosystem, if you wish to place several speakers about the home for a multi-room system.

It would have been easy for Apple to look to the Amazon Echo or Google Home for design cues for HomePod. Well, it really is Apple's version of a smart home speaker. Google sells Home for US$180, promoting the smart speakers with discounts. The two companies have been competitors in the video industry, but both parties eventually came to an agreement earlier this year. It's hard to know for sure when you're listening to a song coming out of giant speakers in a conference hall.

On the top of speaker there's a waveform, which animates when you address the speaker with "Hey Siri" command. So Apple wants to combine the best of both worlds.

Apple has finally dived into the market of the smart speaker to take on Amazon Echo, Google Home. HomePod streams Apple Music and AirPlay 2 (only from supported devices like iPhone and iPad).

Google's parent had its shares crack US$1,000 on the Nasdaq stock exchange on Monday, just six days after Amazon did the same. Amazon launched the Echo in 2014, and Google initiated shipping previous year its competitor, Google Home. 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. And along with that, HomePod can also perform Siri enabled functions like if you need to ask some basic Siri Questions or ask Siri to read the latest news from the internet, or you want to have the HomeKit controls (HomeKit are devices which let you control home devices like lights, garage, door, Air conditioners and more). It unveiled the Apple Watch in September 2014."Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos".

The main new feature, as reported by Neowin, is one called On-Demand Resources, which makes it possible for developers to create apps that are smaller to download initially.

Hopefully, being built into something that is one of the biggest diversifications in Apple's modern history - this is perhaps the biggest shift in what it makes since the iPhone - surely Apple has some sort of Siri upgrade up its sleeve to make it work?

"The second thing we learned [aside from pricing] is that people's taste in speakers are unbelievably personal", Limp argued. Making the most of it will require a subscription to Apple's own music streaming service, which runs $10 to $15 per month and has attracted 27 million subscribers so far.

The Google Home speaker can work with Google's Chromecast devices, so you can multi-room control sound through TVs or speakers plugged into those devices.

And HomePod can do that - some of the time, and only with Apple services. You can of course buy these devices right now, so you don't have to hang around to jump on the smart speaker bandwagon.