Introducing Apple's Homepod - will you be purchasing?

Now Apple has announced the unveiling of their HomePod, a wireless speaker for the home that delivers audio and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio. The Echo has only two speakers, this includes a 2.5-inch woofer and it does not compare favorably to the HomePod. A case of less is more?

As demand for personal computers and smartphones ebbs, the company is joining Amazon (AMZN), Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google, Microsoft (MSFT) and Samsung in selling so-called smart audio speakers. It also has six microphones to pick up on voice commands, which Apple says should allow users to interact with the speaker from across the room.

As a home assistant, HomePod sends messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene. By saying, "Hey Siri, I like this song", HomePod and Apple Music become the musicologist, learning preferences from hundreds of genres and moods, across tens of thousands of playlists, and these music tastes are shared across devices.

There are a few apps that are integrated with Siri but it's unclear if these will be available on the HomePod.

Look out, Alexa, there's a new kid on the block. The company "can't afford to yield valuable real-estate in the heart of people's homes to Amazon, Google and others", said Geoff Blaber, research analyst at CCS Insight. So that means most of its features are in here (for SA too), such as traffic alerts, answers to trivia, sport scores, flight alerts, translations, shopping lists, and more.

There are a bunch of weird things about Apple's HomePod announcement.

As for support for third-party developers, Amazon features Alexa Skills while Apple now does not offer a comparable service for the HomePod. The Echo allows you to request an Uber, order pizza and track fitness with compatible apps. It will be available in the retail market in December.

Amazon sells Echo devices for US$179, and smaller "Dot" versions for US$50.

Consumer spending on smart home related products and services will reach almost $90 billion this year and reach $155 billion by 2022, according to consultant Strategy Analytics. This only applies to North America though.

How secure is Apple HomePod? This way, you can play the same music in different rooms or have a richer audio experience in one room. Five songs were played in comparison with Sonos and Amazon Echo: Sia's "The Greatest", "Sunrise" by Norah Jones, "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder, "DNA" by Kendrick Lamar, and a live performance of The Eagles' "Hotel California". New iMacs released Monday are getting better displays and graphics capabilities.

Apple will begin shipping the HomePod to the United States, Britain and Australia in December.

It will come with an upgraded version of the Safari web browser which will prevent videos from autoplaying and prevent users from being tracked across sites.

"Standards are boring but they are very, very useful". Still, with a US$129 price tag, it's the cheapest of the lot.

  • Zachary Reyes