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HomePod: The secure smart speaker that's big on music
12 February 2018, 08:53 | Joann Bryant
The home assistant battles have begun
However, if you're an Apple Music subscriberor rely heavily on your iTunes music library, this is the only smart speaker that's an option for you right now if you want to control it with your voice. HomePod did not adapt to Chen's requests and did things they would not be in his everyday routine. That is a specific place or alignment of your body where the system sounds the best. You can also wake it up from across the room by saying "Hey, Siri". The sound quality is tops and design is handsome, but with a heftier price tag, lack of partnerships with companies like Spotify and Uber, and Siri's inability to be truly useful right now, it's more of an Apple aspiration than a product ready for the prime time. Away from Apple's demo space, it sounded just as good as I'd remembered. "Alexa and Google Assistant do have morefeatures, for now, and they are definitely more advanced in their functionality".
"Siri on HomePod is not as full-featured as Siri on your Macs or iOS devices, and this was done by design". To hear your commands, the HomePod contains six built-in far field microphones.
"You can't ask Siri to look up a recipe. We made you a playlist".
For audiophiles, the HomePod is built like a tank with a woofer, a custom amplifier and seven tweeters to provide a rich range of sound, according to reviews from TechCrunch, the Verge and the New York Times.
What's more, Sonos supports more streaming platforms than HomePod, and not only works with Alexa out of the box but also promises to make nice soon with the Google Assistant, and, yes, Siri.
Early reviewers have often disclaimed their own audio expertise, but have generally opined that the $349 HomePod sounds decidedly superior to the $80 Amazon Echo, similar to or a little better than the $199 Sonos One, and at least a little better than the $399 Google Home Max.
"But Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it. Siri is sorely lacking in capabilities compared with Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant".
TechCrunch: "Apple's HomePod is easily the best sounding mainstream smart speaker ever".
"If you don't like Apple Music, don't buy a HomePod", said Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch.
"The HomePod sounds great but on the surface, it's debatable whether it's great enough to justify the limitations of its smart features when compared purely on those merits and not as a component of the Apple ecosystem". But while Apple stores may be in short supply of the speaker, you're likely to have more luck at the many third-party retailers also offering the curvy speaker.
The device, which combines the company's digital personal assistant, Siri, with a high-performance audio speaker, connects to your home WiFi network and streams music, digital radio stations, news, podcasts and more, directly from the internet.
"Indeed, the perception out there is that Siri, despite being on tens of millions of iPhones and the first virtual assistant to make a name for itself, just isn't as smart or useful as Alexa and the Google Assistant". It's also possible to call on Siri by holding down the middle section of the touchscreen.
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