Apple has released its next foray into the world of smart home devices, setting the bar for audio performance and ushering users into a more relaxed life, with the HomePod wireless speaker. The claims are extensive, and iTWire can report when hearing the three devices in one room there is truly no comparison.
The HomePod is powered by Siri, which allows users to send messages, create lists, set timers, get the news, check sports, traffic and weather updates.
"Hey Siri, read my last text message" sounds like a helpful ask, but considering a roommate, kid or someone else in your house could ask for such information too, it raises privacy concerns. The voice assistant works as a DJ as it progressively learns more about it user's taste in music.
You can, however, control smart lights, blinds and other appliances with Siri if they're compatible withApple's smart home platform, HomeKit.
How does it compare with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos One?
Amazon pitches the Echo as a smart home assistant that happens to play music. It lets you make calls, control smart home accessories, place orders at Amazon, and add third-party skills that can do thousands of different things ranging from games to ordering services.
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If you're on the fence about HomePod and wondering whether to audition it at an Apple Store or your own home this weekend, here are a handful of helpful details that will put this new speaker in some perspective.
Apple has explained that HomePod automatically tunes itself for each environment, with an accelerometer that detects when the speaker has been moved and triggers an acoustic scan of the room.
One of the unanswered questions leading up to HomePod's launch has been how Apple's retail stores will display the speaker. The HomePod also works only with iOS devices.
That's how I was able to play Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, SiriusXM and other services through the speaker, without any assistance from Siri. "It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, handsome design that is so much fun to use".
The speaker also includes seven tweeters to play higher-pitched sound and a single four-inch woofer to handle the bass. They're all abstract pieces that say little specific about Apple's smart speaker.
You'll similarly be able to balance two HomePods next to each other for a complete stereo effect but must wait for a free software update from Apple coming later in the year.
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