While Siri would respond well to your voice commands, the control is not only with it. But Apple will need to have something else up its sleeve to convince casual fans to buy a $350 smart speaker that isn't as smart as the competition. After users activate the device and "Hey Siri" is recognised locally on the device information is sent to Apple services where it is encrypted and send using a Siri identifier. However, the criticism is mostly reserved for the aesthetic of the speaker, not the functionality itself.
Standing at just under 7 inches tall, the HomePod comes in the standard Apple white or black colourways. Inside there are 7 tweeters, six microphones and an A8 chip - the same chip inside the iPhone. It's always good to see the market behemoth taking up the bold and right move to shake up the digital speaker segment at the right time. It has "spatial awareness" to detect where it's located a room and adjust the sound accordingly. This is very similar to Sonos' Trueplay feature, which similarly tunes its speakers to any room. With Apple Music integration, users have access to over 40 million songs from over 2 million artists.
Users will be able to ask Siri to play songs and answer questions via the speaker.
Analysts are yet to be convinced that HomePod will rock the smart speaker market the way iPhones came to rule the smartphone world and iPods dominated MP3 players. One issue here is whether the HomePod will play nice with other music streaming services like Spotify. The company will thus be reinventing the two, a marketing strategy, which will be accomplished through the device.
As were the rumors suggesting, Apple was going to launch a Wi-Fi speaker and the company did that at the WWDC 2017 keynote. Interestingly, Sonos was absent from the list of early speaker partners.
Yet how well Apple differentiates its new product with others already widely available is questionable. "The focus on music is smart and Apple can leverage Apple Music to compete with Google and Amazon", he said. It will be out available in the market by the end of this year.
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