With a launch of a Apple Watch Series 3 and iPhone X behind us, there’s still one some-more new Apple product on my selling list this year: HomePod. Apple previewed a new intelligent orator back in June during WWDC, and now it’s roughly time for HomePod to strike a market. Here’s what we know about HomePod so far:
What is HomePod?
HomePod is a initial Apple-designed song orator given the iPod Hi-Fi (which shipped in 2007 and was dropped a year later). HomePod plays song wirelessly over Wi-Fi directly from Apple Music or over AirPlay from circuitously iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs. HomePod has Siri built-in for voice control regulating a 6 microphone array that creates it a intelligent speaker.
Apple is heavily pulling a audio quality of HomePod for song playback as something that distinguishes it from other intelligent speakers:
HomePod facilities a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, purify bass, a tradition array of 7 beam-forming tweeters that yield pristine high magnitude acoustics with implausible directional control and absolute technologies built right in to safety a brilliance and vigilant of a strange recordings.
Apple’s representation for HomePod in Jun was that wireless song speakers like Sonos and intelligent speakers like Amazon Echo exist, yet not in a same package. That’s not so many a box 5 months after (you can literally buy a Sonos orator with Amazon Alexa built-in now), yet HomePod will still substantially be a best intelligent orator for anyone low in a Apple ecosystem.
What can it do?
Using voice control by Siri, HomePod is essentially a wireless song orator for Apple Music. Other song services like Spotify should work regulating AirPlay from a circuitously device, yet customarily Apple Music will offer intelligent voice control. Here’s an instance of what Apple Music and Siri will be means to do on HomePod:
Like Google Home and Amazon Echo, HomePod will also be a intelligent home controller and a customarily intelligent orator to work with HomeKit accessories. HomePod is also a HomeKit heart so we can control accessories remotely and run automations by it yet an Apple TV or iPad during home. Here are some examples of what Siri can do with HomeKit on HomePod:
HomePod isn’t only singular to Apple Music and HomeKit control. HomePod will also be means to play Apple Podcasts like 9to5Mac Happy Hour, set alarms, get sports and continue updates, set Reminders, and even send messages. Here’s Apple on HomePod and Siri:
Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in a many renouned categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And ubiquitous knowledge.
It’s misleading if voice calls will also be upheld and it looks like HomePod could boat yet any multi-user facilities included, yet these are things we should learn some-more about soon.
Other intelligent facilities embody multi-room audio playback regulating AirPlay 2, stereo pairing between dual circuitously HomePods, and involuntary audio tuning formed on spatial awareness.
It automatically analyzes a acoustics, adjusts a sound formed on a speaker’s location, and steers a song in a optimal direction. Whether HomePod is opposite a wall, on a shelf, or in a center of a room, everybody gets an immersive listening experience.
Sonos offers what sounds like a identical audio tuning underline called Trueplay, yet Sonos speakers need being manually tuned any time they’re changed since HomePod will do this automatically. We’ll have to see how a formula compare.
AirPlay 2, Apple’s new wireless streaming feature, isn’t out nonetheless possibly so multi-room playback is still untested. In theory, however, AirPlay 2 should extend HomePod’s multi-room playback to some-more speakers as Apple TV and third-party speakers that work with AirPlay 2 will be targets as good reduction a Siri input. Sonos has even committed to supporting AirPlay 2 on a existent speakers someday subsequent year.
Third-party app support will be really singular to start. HomePod is essentially a intelligent orator that works with Apple services like Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, HomeKit, Reminders, and other Siri facilities that aren’t accessible on competing intelligent speakers.
Siri does support third-party apps on iOS, however, and HomePod will have singular support for these by SiriKit for HomePod starting with iOS 11.2. SiriKit for HomePod enables third-party apps that use SiriKit on iOS for Messaging, Lists, and Notes to work with HomePod yet any additional configuration.
You only correlate with Siri on a HomePod, and a charge is rubbed on a circuitously iPhone or iPad with a right app installed. This should concede we to use Siri on HomePod to work with apps like Things, OmniFocus, WhatsApp, and WeChat. For apps like Spotify and Overcast, you’ll need to rest on AirPlay from another device that won’t have Siri features.
HomePod comes in dual colors: white or black … error space gray. Both versions are wrapped in a filigree fabric and underline an LED waveform along a tip to uncover Siri activity. While this area isn’t accurately a screen, a LED light is energetic and can change to uncover volume controls as well. The tip aspect is also hold supportive and can be used to plead Siri or control audio playback.
Apple pitches HomePod as a improved sounding orator than a $299 Sonos Play:3 that puts it above a $199 Sonos One and expected subsequent a $499 Sonos Play:5 in terms of audio quality, yet we’ll have to exam HomePod when it launches to know for sure.
In terms of specifications, Apple sum measure and internals for an thought of what to expect.
- 6.8 inches high (172 mm)
- 5.6 inches far-reaching (142 mm)
- 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg)
- High-excursion woofer with tradition amplifier
- Array of 7 horn-loaded tweeters, any with a possess tradition amplifier
- Six-microphone array for far-field Siri and room sensing
- Internal low-frequency calibration microphone for involuntary drum correction
- Direct and ambient audio beamforming
- Transparent studio-level energetic processing
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
- Multiroom orator support with AirPlay 2
In terms of estimate power, HomePod ships versed with Apple’s A8 chip that debuted with a iPhone 6 and 6 Plus and is also used in a fourth-gen Apple TV.
Release Date / Availability / Price
Apple denounced HomePod behind in Jun during a Worldwide Developer Conference, yet Phil Schiller didn’t give a organisation recover date over December: “It will start shipping this December, initial in a US, UK, and Australia, and afterwards subsequent year we’ll start bringing it around a world.”
My theory would be Dec 1, Dec 8, or Dec 15, all of that are Fridays before Christmas that Apple is expected targeting if possible. Dec 22 is also a Friday before Christmas, yet Apple certainly wants to boat before afterwards if possible.
HomePod will cost $350 in a US; Apple hasn’t announced general pricing yet.
Okay, so we know HomePod is shipping someday in December, yet when can buy it? Apple won’t take your income yet, yet pre-orders for new inclination customarily occur one week before release.
That means we could see HomePod pre-orders start as shortly as Nov 24, that happens to be Black Friday, a biggest selling day of a year in a US.
Apple could even boat HomePod on Dec 8 and open pre-orders on Black Friday to get in on a selling movement as two-week pre-order durations aren’t unheard of.
I’m totally guessing here though. It’s equally expected that HomePod could boat during a finish of Dec and pre-orders not start until mid-December. Here’s to anticipating for earlier than later.
Stay tuned to a HomePod Guide for a latest stories and more!