Apple Joins Smart-Speaker Race With Music-Focused 'HomePod'

Lucy Hill
June 7, 2017

According to Tim Cook, The speaker has very related to Google home as it has a voice assistant (Siri) which built-in that can play music, read the news, answer questions, and much more.

HomePod will take on lower priced Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have had momentum in the arena of voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more. It was Apple that started the entire virtual digital assistant craze with the Siri on iPhone, many years ago.

Siri, Apple's voice-activated intelligent assistant, is already in use in most Apple products. When you are away from home, the HomePod will look after your devices.

Once set up, Home Pod will be able to control lights, alarms, and other products around the home. It even comes with Apple's communications encryption technology, which is frankly reassuring. The massive installed user base for Apple smartphones, tablets and smartwatches nearly ensures the success of this system out of the gate, if indeed speakers of this nature are to become a significant consumer electronics niche. And like Apple TV, the HomePod can act as a home hub, providing remote access and home automations through the Home app on iPhone or iPad. It is somewhat reminiscent of the Mac Pro, featuring a cylindrical design.

HomePod has similar functions to Echo and Home.

The speaker works, unsurprisingly, with Apple Music and has several speakers and a built in woofer. This was not a particular focus of either the existing Google or Amazon systems, and Apple clearly feels it can make it a unique proposition with this emphasis. What the HomePod really targeting sound quality over its current rivals, it's here that most of the interest will lie. The speaker will also be able to sense the size of the room using acoustics.

Analysts said the smart home speaker market is ripe for Apple.

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Onstage, Apple's worldwide head of marketing, Phil Schiller, described how the speaker analyzes the song it's playing and adjusts its output.

Reviewers have previously criticized the sound quality delivered by speakers produced by both Google and Amazon.

The speaker itself sits at just 7-inches tall, though Apple is offering the ability to stack two of them to deliver an additional boost to audio.

Amazon and Apple declined to comment on how their differences have affected customers.

But Apple claims that Siri will never send any data to Apple servers until the aforementioned wake expression is uttered. Apple's File System will be replacing the Hierarchical File System.

For the most part, it seems the processor of the HomePod will be the same as that found in iPhones.

The new iOS 11 operating system, which will be available for download in the fall, meanwhile "reveals the future of Apple and its products", Joanna Stern writes in the Wall Street Journal. The Californian corporation will offer the HomePod in white and space grey, with orders beginning in December ahead of the critical Christmas marketplace. Google Home followed in October and Microsoft's assistant, Cortana, is also finding a home in home speakers.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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