Sunday, 18 February, 2018

Apple's HomePod: What you need to know before buying one

Apple Home Pod Apple Home Pod
Guillermo Lane | 11 February, 2018, 05:12

A few other typical smart speaker tasks that the HomePod reportedly can't do: find a recipe, make a phone call or summon an Uber (although Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed the HomePod works with Uber during an earnings call last week).

Apple's HomePod is roughly three times more expensive than the leading competitor and isn't capable of doing what others can.

The HomePod delivers impeccable sound quality that surpasses that of similar offerings by Google and Sonos, reviewers say.

Powered by the Siri voice assistant, Apple hopes to put the speaker at the center of its HomeKit smart home plans, as the one device to rule not only your playlists, but your entire in-home connected ecosystem.

Although Apple's new smart speaker is called the HomePod, businesses can use the device's intelligence and capabilities, too. The Home Max, meanwhile, can connect to either iOS or Android devices thanks to its Bluetooth support. Google's Assistant is also found on its smartphones, while Apple naturally enough relies on the Siri system that is resident in the iconic iPhone series.

However, Tien points out three main challenges for HomePod that may influence its product acceptance in existing market. But if you want a useful smart assistant as well as the freedom to use whatever service you want, it's best to walk on by. Dwight Silverman, Technology editor, Houston Chronicle said that Apple's updates on Siri have lobotomized it.

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Built with an A8 chip that acts as the brain of the speaker, the HomePod easily transforms from speaker to home assistant. Further, there is Siri integration to let you interact with the HomePod directly using your own voice. The most common requests to AI personal assistants such as Apple's Siri are reportedly to play music, read the weather forecast and set timers or reminders. Google is already known for being able to answer nearly any question and help you get from A to B. Microsoft products can be found in nearly every workplace. With many speakers and sound systems, there is a zone of perfection. "HomePod makes the Amazon Echo and Google's Home sound muffled and tinny in comparison", said The New York Times's Brian X. Chen.

For all the features and functionality, though, Siri still needs a lot of work.

Apple stores and retailers such as BestBuy start selling the speaker today.

The competition for voice-controlled smart devices has really only just begun, and smart homes will soon be followed by AI in our cars and offices.

In terms of business uses for voice assistants, Apple's lack of support in HomePod for even basic features that businesspeople would appreciate-such as calendars-doesn't bode well for Apple's future in the B2B voice assistant space.

Time: "With the HomePod, the company will have to prove that it can compete in a game for which somebody else wrote the rules".

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