Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Apple HomePod: Better Late Than Never?

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Apple’s eagerly-awaited answer to the Alexa Echo and Google Home voice assistants/speakers, the Apple HomePod, will be on its way home starting Friday, February 9th.

Orders are available to be taken online starting this Friday, January 26, in the US, UK, and Australia, according to a press release from Apple, and will arrive in France and Germany in the spring.

Here’s how Apple is positioning the device:

HomePod delivers stunning audio quality wherever it’s placed — in any room in the house, playing any style of music. Using just your voice, it’s easy and fun to use, and works together with an Apple Music subscription for a breakthrough music experience, providing access to one of the world’s largest cloud music libraries. Siri, now actively used on over half a billion devices, has developed a deep knowledge of music and understands your preferences and tastes. And with Siri, HomePod can send a message, set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic and weather, and even control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories.
– via Apple Newsroom

As for the price tag, well, it’s pretty Apple-ish: $349, well above the retail prices of Google Home at $129 and Amazon Echo at $179.

Call it the Apple premium.

The Verge has some key questions: Will HomePad work with subscriptions other than Apple Music like, say, Spotify? Will Siri be as capable on the HomePod as it is on other devices (and let’s face, Siri has falled behind in AI compared to the other students). And users will have to wait until a software update later this year if they want multi-room audio.

Turbo Take: Apple fans may very well have waited to pay more for less, but Apples has an uphill climb in terms of catching up to the incumbents. And I say that as a longtime Apple fanboy who already owns an Alexa Tap. Sometimes late to market is just too late. We’ll soon see whether or not that’s the case with the HomePod.

Written by turbotodd

January 23, 2018 at 9:32 am

Posted in 2018, amazon echo, apple, homepod

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