April 21, 2018

Apple HomePod pre-orders open, shipping on 9 February for £319

27 January 2018, 07:20 | Yvette Williams

HomePod Features release date and everything we know about Apple's smart speaker


Before Apple even had a chance to get their HomePods on the shelves, Sonos has made their move. When Siri is listening, a soft blur of coloured lights dance on the smooth upper surface, replaced by digital plus and minus icons to adjust the volume once a song is playing. Once you've zipped through Apple's questions, you're just left waiting for setup to complete. Unfortunately, there's no indicator on the HomePod to see at a glance if the mic is on or off. It's a fun little design touch that helps tie in HomePod to Apple's product lineup, plus it adds a little character.

After spending an hour demoing Apple's new HomePod smart speaker, I can say one thing with confidence: it sounds incredible.

If you're comfortable spending a bit more and can live without having voice control, you can hit up Amazon right now and find the Sonos PLAY:1 triple pack for $447USD. The same songs played on the Google Home Max sounded oddly muddy. First up on our demo is Ariana Grande's Side to Side. So plenty of options available in the smart speaker sphere. What becomes immediately apparent is the formidable bass the HomePod kicks out.

The integration of Siri is most welcome on the HomePod, and it can do everything Siri can do for you on your iPhone. And herein lies another flaw: for now you will have to use an Apple Music account if you want to use Siri as a control. What this does is ensure you can use certain Apple services - chiefly Messages, Calendar, and Reminders - with the HomePod. The Amazon Echo and the Google Home sound good, but the HomePod elevates sound to another level.

Trump, US delegation now likely to attend Davos meeting
There is some uncertainty about Mr Trump's attendance, however, in light of the U.S. government shutdown in Washington . The WEF annual meeting takes place under the theme " Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World ".

Sonos can still compete with Apple if it can maintain an open ecosystem and gives customers more freedom than its rivals.

Like most people, I use a menagerie of electronic devices and services from various companies. Previously, only an iPad or Apple TV could fulfill this role.

Besides being late to the game, Apple's HomePod is priced at $349, compared to an Amazon Echo at $149 and Google Home at $129. The device normally retails for $199 so basically you get a discount of $50 on two of the Sonos One. This probably isn't something too many people will care about, but Alexa and Google Assistant's voice sound more natural in comparison. But you count Apple out in the hardware business at your peril. Android users must look elsewhere for a smart speaker. But if you're paying the monthly fee for Apple Music anyway, then this is your jam (box).

You don't feel like talking to Alexa or Google Assistant? Meanwhile, other smart speakers already support multi-room music playing.

Other News

Trending Now

Student Wounded in Texas High School Shooting; Suspect in Custody, Police Say
Cassie Shook tells The Associated Press that she was just arriving at Italy High School when the shooting happened Monday morning. The message confirmed the shooting at Italy High School , and stated that one person was shot and taken to the hospital.

Super Blue Blood Moon - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX
In the Western Hemisphere, this will be the first time all three have coincided since 1866, more than a century and a half ago. The eclipse will last nearly 3 ½ hours from the beginning of the partial phase at 3:48 a.m.

Apple Releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.3 Software Update
Apple announced these security updates in their security support document and asks that the updates are installed immediately. Windows 10 is already patched, several versions of Linux are patched but Apple has been lagging behind a bit.

Marin Cilic ends Kyle Edmund dream in one-sided semi-final victory
Federer defeated No.19 seed Tomas Berdych to advance to the semi-finals, where he'll play Hyeon Chung . In the next set, Cilic stamped his authority early with a break to lead 2-1.

PSU banks to get Rs 88139 crores in fresh funding
In terms of lending practices, the government said that banks should have no more than 10% exposure to big consortium loans. Meanwhile, IDBI Bank shares rose 1.07 per cent on being allocated the highest capital infusion amount among PSBs.

NBA, sports betting industry at odds over 1% 'integrity fee'
While most professional leagues have condemned sports betting , the National Basketball Association has shown its support. He used the example of prop bets Wednesday, such as placing a wager on who may draw the game's first foul.

Missouri State student emails all campus 'Claudias' over missed Tinder connection
In his email, Hayden said he and Claudia could "totally get some donuts or something but if you choose "left" that's cool too". In a cruel twist of fate, Hayden accidentally swiped left on her profile ("left is bad") and now was desperate to find her.

Mourinho explains Alexis Sanchez signing
I know I don't need to explain this to the majority of Arsenal fans but contrary to speculation at no time did I tell Alexis Sanchez to leave Arsenal .

Virat Kohli and Boys Look to Finish on a High at Wanderers
I can think of Perth in Australia, where we've never lost and we get there and we're confident and we can perform. Jasprit Bumrah, a surprise selection in both the previous Tests, is expected to be left out.

Sci-fi author Ursula K. Le Guin dies
Her 1983 speech to graduates at Mills College , titled " A Left-Handed Commencement Address ", is considered a classic. Le Guin's books have been translated into over 40 languages, selling millions of copies worldwide.