It is the rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home which are smart speakers that are soon becoming commonplace in US households. It is an estimated that there would be about 450 million Apple Homepod devices by end of 2017!
What is it?
The Apple HomePod smart speaker will offer a wireless audio experience to its users with voice support from its digital assistant Siri. With the HomePod setting foot in the Indian market, Apple is promising not only the finest quality of sound experience but also the kind of voice-support that will pull down it’s less expensive Echo series. It is determined to establish itself as the market leader in smart speakers.
With smart speakers being a prime gateway to subscription services such as music, Apple needs to step into the smart speaker market where it’s HomePod has the ability to connect with smart home devices, and drive everyday activities like playing games and shopping.
The brand also wants to remind its customers that this is a smart speaker and not just a place where Siri dwells. Moreover, the technology giant claims that the smart speaker is designed to make an assortment of music, right from metal to Bollywood numbers. Sound amazing! Isn’t it?.
Who will love it?
If you are a Siri fan, the Apple Homepod news will make you drool. Your beloved assistant is coming in a different form factor and will be at the center of your smart home in India soon!
If you are the kind of person who spends an extensive amount of time on Apple Apps such as Apple Calendar, Apple Mail, Apple Reminders and Maps, HomePod is the right home assistant for you. Similar to how Google’s Home well suited to users who use only Google’s app or services, Homepod is well suited to users who use Apple’s app, Apple 4k TV or services.
How do you operate it?
It’s all about how you instruct the device. When you ask HomePod to remind you of your appointments for the day, it is going to retrieve that information stored from your Apple Calendar.
Setting up the Apple HomePod is relatively easy – you simply need to turn it on and hold your iPhone close to it. That further sorts out Wi-Fi networks, helping you sign into Apple Music and other applications.
The Home App on your iPhone enables you to control the settings on the HomePod. In the process, you can also use this to swap Siri’s voice between female and male, and switch off listening history, which means if another person is listening to Sia’s “Cheap Thrills” on repeat would not affect your customized Apple Music playlists.
Since the HomePod does not support a mute switch that can stop the music, you can switch off the microphones in the Home App, later turn it on again to resume the music.
Besides working with Apple Music, the smart speaker will also support features that include smart home integration, multi-room audio, and voice messaging.
Unlike other speakers which can be placed anywhere at home, Apple HomePod particularly takes stock of where it is placed and within seconds the smart speaker is perfectly adjusted to deliver a mesmerising music listening experience.
The smart speaker is developed in such a way that it does not push sound waves into adjoining walls. instead, it directs those sound waves towards the areas in which people are located.
The Apple HomePod is also designed to send messages on iMessage. Besides, a person can also send messages on WhatsApp and other similar apps. Users can also dictate their shopping lists and to-do lists to the smart speaker, which it will then display in the reminders app on the iPhone. Apple HomePod also supports apps such as Streaks and Evernote.
Siri becomes smarter!
Though Apple is heavily depending on the sound quality of its newly launched HomePod, a smart speaker definitely requires a good digital assistant to support it. In this smart speaker, Siri is much improved and better at comprehending commands than it used to be.
Siri, here, is in the position to handle basic tasks pretty well, such as converting currencies, setting timers and even checking the weather.
How much is it?
As expected, it’s at a premium i.e. costing $349 ~ Rs. 22,000 which is more expensive than the Amazon Echo Plus (the most expensive one) that is available in India at Rs. 15K.
When is it coming to India?
While the US, UK, and Australia can start pre-ordering it from 26th Jan (it goes on sale from 9th February), it is hard to say how much time it will take for it to hit the Indian market.