Future of Voice – Apple HomePod
Welcome!!! It has been a busy few months for us looking at Voice Assistants as this is now the third Voice assistant available in Australia just after Google & Amazon. Apple has at last joined the rush of companies producing smart speakers which will respond to your questions and play your favourite tunes. In our previous edition we looked at the Amazon Alexa which was released last month.
Apple has been on the band wagon of Smart Speakers since 2012 but they are unfortunately the last ones to enter the market, it has taken them that long to design and tweak the system. This is a missed opportunity for Apple in many ways but then again we all know that the Apple fans will definitely be getting their hands on at least one of these speakers.
Since there are now three companies with three different but similar products, there is still no way of saying which one is the best as all of them have different functions to please a certain crowd. Home Pod is meant to a Smart Speaker not a smart Home Automation device therefore Apple is only advertising it as a Speaker with Siri capabilities.
HomePod is beautifully made and it really looks good especially in the Lounge room as it blends in perfectly with your Wall hanging TV and Apple TV. It is of a cylindrical shape and has a fabric mesh on the outside just like the Google Home and Amazon Echo 2. HomePod has touch panel built in towards the top as the symbol appears whilst playing music.
The sound quality from HomePod is far better than any of the other smart speakers in the market. It feels as though you have a high powered and large speakers hidden away. The impressive sound quality is achieved by the way it is designed as there are seven tweeters, woofer and six microphones.
HomePod is probably the easiest one to setup compared to Google Home and Amazon Echo. It integrates seamlessly with Apple TV. It has the capability to sense the vibration thru the room to set itself up to the optimum settings. There is no requirements of manual calibration. Wherever you place this speaker, it will constantly keep analysing the music played and dynamically tune the sound coming out of it. I think that is a great feature as Apple had also promised 360-degree sound which it delivered.
HomePod also has some downfalls, it has no Bluetooth although it has Bluetooth 5.0 capabilities built in but it cannot be used as a Bluetooth speaker using your phone. There is neither an AUX port for you to connect external sources to this smart speaker. On the other side you can combine two HomePod together for it to play music in Stereo mode. The results are very impressive with two of these playing in sync. The only way you can enjoy music on this speaker is through the Apple music subscription.
The built in Siri will control your music as well as your lights and other automated devices that are compatible with the Home Kit. Unfortunately there are not many homes out there with Home Kit devices and at the same times HomePod is not compatible with lot of existing Home Automation devices such as ZigBee and Z-Wave based systems.
At this moment HomePod is simply a high end speaker with smart capabilities. If you love your music then you will love the all new HomePod.
Top HomePod view with Siri Interface. The buttons appear when the music starts to play.
The speakers come in two different colours such as Space Grey and White. It weighs around 2.5KG and it is 172mm high with 142mm wide. I am sure Apple will eventually bring in more updates to add more functionalities and to fulfil the requirements of its HomePod users.
Article by: Sarang Vengurlekar – Future IQ