Apple HomePod: Smart Speaker With Hi-Fi Ambitions?

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And although there has been no official announcement, United States media says Apple products will return to Amazon's home page, after a two-year absence, as a quid pro quo. Echo will never sound better than the day you bought it, but Siri can potentially catch up with smart home integrations over time. This includes playing tracks from Spotify, Apple Music, asking a question regarding the lyrics or artist behind a particular song and so on.

Some industry insiders, however, note Apple will be under more pressure to improve the computing smarts of its Siri software in the face of offerings from rivals Google and Amazon.

Is it worth waiting until December to buy the Appel HomePod?

Echo and Google Home have both been opened up to outside developers and brands to build services that interact with people in their homes and infiltrate their daily habits. That all depends on how wrapped up you and your family are in the Apple ecosystem and how big your budget is. The HomePod is going to be a lot more spendy, and it won't be available for quite some time.

HomePod wants to be the first of the smart speakers to tick the dual boxes of robust virtual assistant and exceptional sound producer. There is no denying that Apple just jumped onto the voice-activated speaker fad. It's a device intended for people who live in Apple's walled garden.

That's where HomePod comes in, which is launching later this year at the same $350 price point as the iPod Hi-Fi. If you're waiting for a better laptop, then not so much.

HomePod combined elements of Echo and Sonos smart speakers, known for rich sound quality, according to Reticle Research principal analyst Ross Rubin. That's impressive by most standards, but it's only a small fraction of iPhone and Mac users.

That update is the arrival of an Apple TV-compatible Apple Prime Video app.

Apple has given Siri new male and female voices, described as more natural and expressive, and added abilities such as translating English phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish. Regardless of category. Depending on the model, you can pick up an Amazon Echo anywhere from $50 to $230 (with the Echo Show, which comes complete with a screen, at the top end). And with Apple's HomeKit, Apple's proprietary wireless protocol for controlling third-party smart home gadgets in iOS, HomePod serves as a hub that can control connected lights and thermostats. That's twice of what the other speakers cost, but again, Apple has always had it this way in pricing.

The HomePod is Shipping in December...

Onstage, Apple's worldwide head of marketing, Phil Schiller, described how the speaker analyzes the song it's playing and adjusts its output. In that way, Apple is sticking to its normal playbook and focusing on consumers willing to shell out more cash - a strategy that can mean fewer sales but generally leads to greater profits. For example, the iPhone 7 launched in 30 countries simultaneously.

"Apple is a company that deeply cares about music and wants to deliver an audio experience in the home", Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said in an interview with Bloomberg's Emily Chang. The only streaming music platform that it's officially supporting is Apple Music. Tuning HomePod for several different languages, dialects and accents is going to be quite a chore. The real victor could be Echo Show, a $229 model that comes with a seven-inch touchscreen. It weighs in at 5.5 pounds.