Apple HomePod sounds really great, works with Apple Music, Siri is still meh, and it requires an iOS device to set up. Not quite. The first HomePod reviews have revealed a few interesting things that may or may not sway your opinion on Apple’s first smart speaker.
10 things we just learned about Apple HomePod
1. Play podcasts at 1.5x or 2x speed
On HomePod, podcasts can be played at 1.5 or 2x speed, according to BuzzFeed. Alexa, unfortunately, doesn’t know the same trick.
2. Setup is stupid-easy
Just start the HomePod setup process is hold your iPhone up next to it. A series of cards will appear on your iPhone and start plugging in all of your iCloud and Wi-Fi network settings. If there’s anything Apple knows how to do right, it’s making setup a breeze.
3. Can’t set two timers at once
The Verge’s Nilay Patel was pretty outraged by this omission. Fingers crossed Apple will add this functionality in a future software update. Shouldn’t be so hard.
4. Can’t call you a car or order a pizza
HomePod can’t do stuff like call you a car or order a pizza like Alexa can. What makes a good speaker smart if it can resolve a voice command ability.
5. Can’t recognize different voices
Sire unable to differentiate voices which can be very annoying when you repeatedly giving commands and nothing is happening. Siri may be great at listening for its command even over loud music, but it can’t tell the difference between you, and other members in the house. It can only supports one iCloud account .Other frustrated members of the family has to buy another one if they want this just to have an iCloud account. Crazy!
6. Siri is device-aware
This is pretty smart. If you own several apple devices Siri knows which one to respond. For instance, if you raise your wrist and say, “Hey Siri,” the combined devices will assume you want Siri on your Apple Watch. If you’re using your iPhone, then you probably want that device to respond. If you’re doing something else, not touching any device, then HomePod will take over.
7. Friends won’t screw up your Apple Music
HomePod was designed to work with Apple Music, which constantly learns your music tastes and then finds songs you might like. But one thing you don’t want is your friends playing their music on your HomePod and essentially training it to prefer their music preferences.
Also from The Loop’s review:
There is a setting in the Home app that allows you to prevent the music played on HomePod from affecting the “For You” section of Apple Music.
8. Might stain your countertop
Pocket-Lint set up their HomePod on a “solid oak kitchen worktop treated with Danish oil” and wouldn’t you know it, the smart speaker’s left a round ring behind within minutes.
Within 20 minutes the HomePod had caused a white discoloured ring to appear on the wood that some days later has faded, although still hasn’t completely disappeared.
Your mileage may vary, though; HomePod may not stain other types of wood or surface material.
9. Coasters and HomePod don’t mix
To prevent ring stains, Pocket-Lint placed their HomePod on a coaster… and it made the audio sound worse. So maybe don’t place it on a coaster.
10. There’s no physical mute mic button
The Echo and Google Home both have buttons you can press to mute their microphones. It’s a good way to guarantee the microphones aren’t listening when you don’t want them to. On HomePod, the only way to mute its mics is to use a voice command, according to the Wall Street Journal. Womp womp.
Apple HomePod sounds great but not so smart: critics
Getty Images ,updated by New York Post via Nicolas Vegas 7/2/18
Apple’s new HomePod is a state-of-the-art speaker, but it’s got a ways to go before it’s considered “smart.”
That’s the consensus from tech reviewers who had time to jam out to Apple’s $349 speaker this week ahead of its Friday launch.
The HomePod delivers impeccable sound quality that surpasses that of similar offerings by Google and Sonos, reviewers say. However, its Siri and Apple Music exclusivity make it a hard sell as a smart speaker for anyone who isn’t fully invested in Apple’s ecosystem.
The Verge’s Nilay Patel describes the HomePod as a “lonely” piece of technology, asking whether “beautiful sound quality [is] worth locking yourself even more tightly into a walled garden” of Apple’s services.
And despite pointing out that the HomePod’s sound is “noticeably richer and fuller than almost every other speaker we’ve tested,” Patel said it’s “baffling that the HomePod can’t set more than one timer,” pointing out that “anyone who cooks with a smart speaker in their kitchen knows how incredibly useful that is.”
Likewise, The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern said that “HomePod nails the speaker but struggles at smart.”
She notes that the HomePod is unable to read out calendar appointments or make phone calls via voice command, and pointed out that it does not work with ubiquitous apps like Uber and Venmo.
Other reviewers complained that Siri is still dumber than Google Assistant and Alexa, and bemoaned the fact that Apple hampered the utility of such a great-sounding speaker by limiting it to in-house software.
Unlike offerings from Google and Amazon, the HomePod does not offer Bluetooth as a connectivity option, opting instead for Apple’s own AirPlay. Meaning that not only are Spotify and Google Play Music subscribers out of luck to play their tunes via voice command, but all Android owners are as well.
homepadvideo. In the end, reviewers agreed that if you’re in the market for a high-quality speaker and don’t mind the tight embrace of Apple’s ecosystem, the HomePod is perfect for you. But if you want a useful smart assistant as well as the freedom to use whatever service you want, it’s best to walk on by.
10 things we just learned about Apple HomePod Mashable Apple Homepad sounds great but not so smart: critics New York Post How To Set Up Your Apple HomePod Know Your Mobile Apple HomePod review: locked in The Verge Full coverage from Technology – Google News https://mashable.com/2018/02/07/11-things-we-learned-about-apple-homepod/