Battle of the smart speakers - Apple HomePod versus the rest

Apple has entered the Bluetooth speaker market with the HomePod.

Unlike Google, Facebook and Amazon, Apple makes its money with hardware and to a lesser extent, services like iTunes, App Store and Apple Music. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a attractive speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion-free music and be a helpful assistant around your home".

Another competitor, the Google Home (googl), costs $129. By compatible, we mean the speakers need to feature Apple's recently announced AirPlay 2 functionality.

The Amazon Echo and Google Home are two of the most popular speakers available on the market right now. Acoustic modelling optimises the sound depending on where the speaker is placed. However, it's important to note that the Amazon Echo is the budget device of the Echo family, so more expensive ones are available too.

Augmented reality is coming to hundreds of millions of iOS devices with a new platform for developers to build apps that let users place virtual content on top of real-world scenes. It will then enter other global markets in 2018. Siri can also be employed to play songs through the company's streaming service Apple Music.

"There's a lot of things you can do with it", he added. Apple's device also offers news updates, weather forecasts, and the ability to control connected home electronics, but the company is taking a "music first" approach.

Apple also revealed that its Watch will now be able to connect wirelessly with other devices, specifically mentioning "glucose monitoring" as one possible application - a likely nod to speculation earlier this year that Apple had been developing a glucose monitoring device that would sync with the Apple Watch. Then came Google Home based on Google Assistant, two years later and now Apple HomePod based on Siri is here to power your home.

Due to its small size and smooth edges, it looks more like a home interior accessory that a smart speaker.

Six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation.

So far, though, Apple has good reason to focus on sound: Siri isn't the most knowledgeable assistant, and HomeKit supports far fewer devices than its peers. And prospective buyers will have to be content with the white and Space Grey colour options once the HomePod is released in December. If a song is playing, a user can ask HomePod "who's the drummer in this?" and instantly get an answer.

  • Arturo Norris