Hi-Tech

Siri vs. Alexa vs. Google Assistant: Apple Struggling With Privacy Concerns

Siri vs. Alexa vs. Google Assistant: Apple Struggling With Privacy Concerns

CEO Tim Cook offered the opinion that no company had quite nailed the smart speaker yet-throwing some subtle shade at Amazon and Google there Tim?

HomePod combined elements of Echo and Sonos smart speakers, known for rich sound quality, according to Reticle Research principal analyst Ross Rubin. The product is an initiative by Apple to expand into the $50 billion wireless smart speaker industry.

The focus of Apple HomePod is Apple Music, so to that end it is largely for entertainment. Again, we've heard the audio performance of the Echo for ourselves, and we'd put it just slightly below the Google Home - it'll do for a party or some casual listening but serious music enthusiasts are going to be left wanting.

How does it line up?

HomePod combines Apple-engineered audio technology and advanced software to deliver the highest-fidelity sound throughout the room, no matter where it's placed. The size of the unit is 172 x 142 mm at a weight of 5.5 lbs.

Both the Google Home and the HomePod have a sleeker aesthetic design, though on the other hand Alexa is available in three different speakers: the Echo, the Echo Dot, and the portable. The HomePod weighs over 5lbs (Google Home weighs just over 1lb), features a large woofer, 7 tweets, 7 microphones, and ac WiFi. Granted, the other two are much smaller in size than the HomePod and naturally would weigh less. John Mannes at TechCrunch says HomePod is "disrupting the massive home speaker market and the emerging smart speakers space".

More than that, the company touched on how the HomePod will be a hub for HomeKit devices.




Another disadvantage it has is that music support only comes from Apple Music. One issue here is whether the HomePod will play nice with other music streaming services like Spotify. But the real competition between Apple, Google and Amazon in smart speakers may come down to the quality of their intelligent assistants.

What was perhaps most interesting was how much more powerful the HomePod sounded in relation to the dedicated speaker also in the room - a Sonos Play:3.

Apple could eventually open the HomePod up to outside developers, much as it did the iPhone and, eventually, Apple TV. So far it is hard to tell. But HomePod, which Apple spent years developing, is still nowhere near as sophisticated as competing products.

Apple needs to get SiriKit into the conversation and to make sure Google and Amazon don't lock down voice-assistant developers, which could definitely happen in the next six months.

HomePod, infused with machine smarts by Siri digital assistant, will be priced at US$349 (about RM1,490) when it begins shipping in December in the United States, Australia and Britain. The midrange speaker market is in fact ripe for disruption, and I think Apple's correct to assume that people who have expensive speakers probably have an iPhone.


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