Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Apple Has Four New HomePod Commercials: Equalizer, Distortion, Bass, and Beat

Apple Has Four New HomePod Commercials: Equalizer, Distortion, Bass, and Beat

Google and Amazon both offer rich, room-scale audio, while Apple has promised the highest-fidelity audio, with quality engineered sound, and arrays of microphones and tweeters. Those homes with more than one Google speaker can utilize them to broadcast a message, which will play across any Google Home device located within your dwelling.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the HomePod at a keynote address in June 2017, saying that it would "reinvent home music".

Apple's HomePod is entering an already busy marketplace. Before turning the stage over to Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller, Cook said that the company had chose to "reinvent home music", a lofty goal indeed. If you want to invest in a smart speaker, go with Alexa or Google's Home speaker system instead. "We made you a playlist".

If the HomePod is used within an office where speaking to the speaker and listening to responses isn't disruptive to others, the device makes a great addition. It retails for $349 and buyers can select from a white or space gray version. There's no remote control, and no audio input port - just an integrated, fabric-covered power cable.

In Australia, Google's Home has been available for some time, while Amazon's Alexa devices - the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus - was only released this month, finally bringing Antipodeans in line with their U.S. brethren. And now with the Homepod currently sold out for its release date, we'll have to wait and see how Apple's sales pan out for the remainder of Q1.

"Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it", wrote Brian Chen in his review of HomePod for The New York Times. Probably the most famous smart speaker is Amazon's Echo, which runs the AI assistant Alexa. However, they have generally said that HomePod's reliance on half-baked software - including Siri - has major issues, most notably a lack of Siri functionality compared with other digital assistants, as well as weak integration with iOS devices, various iCloud-stored content, and third-party apps. What about users who switch from Apple to Android?

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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. Even in the loud environment of the store and over music playing on the device, Siri was able to easily pick up my voice. The HomePod becomes a natural Siri extension you can tap to provide all kinds of information. Its chief selling point appears to be a high-quality speaker for using the Apple Music service-but not any other rival services.

And while you can use HomePod as a speakerphone, Siri on the new speaker cannot initiate the call.

A number of features have yet to arrive before HomePod feels feature-complete.

Indeed, the Apple HomePod is an excellent standalone speaker system, and could be purchased for this reason alone.

9to5Mac stopped at Apple's new Michigan Avenue store in Chicago and Apple The Summit in Birmingham, AL today to take a look and listen to how well HomePod performs in acoustic conditions that will differ significantly from most people's homes. Nor can Siri identify your voice as opposed to another family member's voice, something the other assistants can do.

But HomePod isn't really a smart speaker - not yet at least. You shouldn't need to phrase each subsequent question in a series as if it's the first.

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