Battle of the smart speakers - Apple HomePod versus the rest

by Lawrence Cooper June 8, 2017, 1:44
Battle of the smart speakers - Apple HomePod versus the rest

However, Apple has a well-established reputation for keeping its app ecosystem and platforms under tight control, so developers hoping for more open smart home ecosystems such as Google Home with the Google Assistant and the Amazon Echo Show with Alexa, may be sorely disappointed. I think when people listen to it, they are going to be shocked over the quality of the sound, and of course it does a lot of other things. The company is simultaneously disrupting the massive home speaker market and the emerging smart speakers space.

Mr Frank Gillett, principal analyst at research firm Forrester Research, said: "Home speaker devices have become an important host for virtual assistants like Siri".

The website's description of the HomePod reads, "We completely reimagined how a speaker should make music in the home".

The HomePod features Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings. HomePod is said to use spatial awareness to sense it's positioning the room (e.g.in a corner, on a table or on a bookshelf) and adjust audio levels accordingly.

Siri can also handle advanced searches within the music library, allowing users to ask questions such as "Hey Siri, who's the drummer in this?" or create a shared Up Next queue with everyone in the home.

Apple's much-anticipated Siri-powered "smart speaker" broke cover overnight at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose.

Multiple HomePods can be networked together, but that will cost a pretty sum given each speaker costs $349 (£270). Those rumors were confirmed today as Apple unveiled HomePod at WWDC 2017. Amazon's (AMZN) record-breaking Echo speaker, which it can't make fast enough, and Google's (GOOGL) Home speaker were top dogs in a new category. This according to Apple means that no matter where you place the HomePod, it will adapt to the physical environment to deliver the best sound. However, the difference between HomePod and the rest seems to be in audio quality. Although the format is not exclusive to Apple, it's not yet clear how well the photos will work with non-Apple software and devices, which mostly use JPEG. While that may be true of the sector, Apple-this not many would have believed a decade ago-is emerging to be the most disinteresting player. Apple's entry into the market could change that. In the future, both AirPods and HomePod will benefit from additional integrations with Siri - but nobody buys AirPods, a MacBook or an iPhone for Siri.

The company is also launching new models of both the iPad and the Mac computer.

iOS 11 features a swag of iPad only features, including a new Files app, a new dock, and new drag-and-drop features to enable better multitasking and sharing between apps.


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