Science

Apple HomePod review: Sounds good only if you're an Apple user

Apple HomePod review: Sounds good only if you're an Apple user

With repairs of the Homepod costing more than a brand new Echo ($99) or Google Home Speaker ($199), consumers may gravitate towards a more affordable smart home solution. From there, your Apple ID and other account settings will be transferred to the HomePod.

Jim Dalrymple, an Apple expert at Loop Insights, a tech news site, said he was "pleasantly surprised by how well the music in the room seemed to just kind of envelope you".

The HomePod version of Siri reportedly cannot read out calendar entries or add new ones-something that the iPhone version of Siri can do just fine. The company says the speaker allows users to enjoy high quality sound. Its chief selling point appears to be a high-quality speaker for using the Apple Music service-but not any other rival services. That said, we can't imagine those things will turn away the Apple diehards, who can use it to stream music, control smart home items, and ask Siri really important questions.

In a way, sending this tweet with a Spotify playlist was like baking a sugar-dripping birthday cake for a diabetic. Apple has been using the service quite a bit for advertising, most recently running ads for the Homepod - but 18 months after joining Twitter, Apple still hasn't sent out even a single tweet.

"But Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it. Siri is sorely lacking in capabilities compared with Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant".

Frances Kwee Lead Acoustics Engineer Google Home Max
Frances Kwee Lead Acoustics Engineer Google Home Max

Find the music-playback controls - by default in the top right. By contrast, Google Home and Amazon Echo each support both Spotify and Pandora, in addition to their own respective music services (though they reportedly fall far short of HomePod on audio quality).

Commands such as "Hey Siri, what's the weather like in New York City?" and "Hey Siri, play Kanye West" work without a hitch. Siri can't help you with that.

The $350 speaker, however, has quirks, like any Apple product.

Google Home Max launched this week.

My other quibble has to do with a hard challenge for Apple. "Whenever I asked HomePod to 'play some music, ' it never played music that was relevant to my preferences or listening history", he wrote, even though Apple has claimed that HomePod will excel at learning user's musical tastes. But sometimes perhaps too good. The Home Max is ultimately the more universal option of the two. So why is it still so complicated?