Amazon devices chief: HomePod and Echo ain't the same thing

Amazon devices chief: HomePod and Echo ain't the same thing

Apple just confirmed the release of their own home speaker, now called the HomePod, at its Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 on Monday.

It unveiled HomePod, a new 7-inch tall speaker for playing music, checking the news and controlling other connected devices in the home. The long and short of it then is that Apple HomePod is just that-it is a smart speaker with an assistant.

"We want to reinvent home music", Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the company's WWDC keynote.




Apple-designed upward-facing woofer, paired with the custom A8 chip. With Apple pricing the HomePod for $349, it's a tough sell compared to the $179 Amazon Echo or the $129 Google Home. It will also be more expensive than Sonos's entry-level multiroom speaker, the Play:1, and the similarly priced SoundTouch 10 by Bose. What sets it apart are its smarts; that puts it up against other "smart" speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

In comparison to Amazon's Alexa, users may notice Siri's lack of capabilities as wider features such as being able to make orders using voice control have not yet been added. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a handsome speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home". The HomePod is also tied in to the Apple Homekit, so you can talk to the speaker to interact with other HomeKit accessories. But if that's a problem for you, the Echo or Home may be better smart speaker choices. As a regular music speaker though, it is pretty well equipped with an in-built subwoofer for deep, clean bass tones and an array of seven beam-forming tweeter speakers that aim to offer clarity for mid and high tones as well as directional audio. Either way, we won't know for sure until the HomePod launches in December.

The speaker features Apple's Siri voice assistant which can play songs for users on requests such as "Hey Siri, play more songs like this?", "Play something new" or even a specific request such as "What was the top song on May 5th 2016?" Some of the key features that will appeal to the home user are its ability to throw music recommendations based on Apple's Music service, text messaging, checking the news and sports scores etc.

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