Siri-us business: Everything you need to know about Apple's new HomePod

HomePod Audio Lab

The Apple Home Pod Audio Lab an Inside Look at Where It Got Created

Siri on HomePod focused on doing a few things well for the individual and the communal family of the house, and from my experience, it did those things well. Apple has finally followed Amazon, Google and Microsoft by launching a smart speaker with a voice-controlled artificial intelligence assistant.

To put it to test, I sampled an eclectic mix of music: a lineup of artists that included Sinatra, Springsteen, Santana and Sia.

"I think Siri could be expanded and will be in the future", said Dalrymple. With repairs of the Homepod costing more than a brand new Echo ($99) or Google Home Speaker ($199), consumers may gravitate towards a more affordable smart home solution.

HomePod is not a directional speaker. And if you're a sound hound, you've got options. We can clearly say that the beta would not stay in its stage for a long time and that Apple will release the final build of the firmware in the upcoming days or weeks. Boasting direct and ambient audio beamforming and a complex microphone array, the HomePod offers quite an upgrade over the standard smartphone speaker.

"By balanced, I mean evenly distributed quality sound".

For sure, HomePod's $349 price will be a disqualifier for some of you. Probably the most famous smart speaker is Amazon's Echo, which runs the AI assistant Alexa. HomePod is unique in that it doesn't have a singular place where it sounds the best. It costs just $199. Amazon can get anything delivered to you. The idea is to turn them into a neat stereo pair.

Apple Audio Lab

The top of the HomePod features a touchscreen.

Commands such as "Hey Siri, what's the weather like in New York City?" and "Hey Siri, play Kanye West" work without a hitch.

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. But not as good as two Sonos One speakers for the same price. This is especially so when compared to the Google Assistant, which is integrated in the Google Home Max. Until now, Google Home Max was the sweetest sounding smart speaker I've listened to.

One related concern: I was disappointed the HomePod doesn't have a closer relationship with the Apple TV. Google's speaker is the louder of the two, though mainly because of its bookshelf-speaker size and 12-pound heft, dwarfing the HomePod. Siri can't do that. Dwight Silverman told the Houston Chronicle that Apple's updates on Siri "has robbed her of personality and memory".

USA Today: "Apple has opened up Siri to developers, but the feature set for HomePod and Siri is more narrow - you might send messages by voice or consult your grocery list, but the list of third-party apps that are compatible with HomePod are relatively thin, including LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Skype for iPhone and Evernote".

My other quibble has to do with a hard challenge for Apple. "Whenever I asked HomePod to 'play some music, ' it never played music that was relevant to my preferences or listening history", he wrote, even though Apple has claimed that HomePod will excel at learning user's musical tastes. The HomePod had more bass than the Sonos - sometimes too much. Siri has no problem with that on the iPhone and the iPad. With many speakers and sound systems, there is a zone of perfection.

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