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Apple’s AirPlay 2 with multiroom audio streaming and stereo HomePod pairing is here - The Verge
iOS 11.4 is available now, and it comes with two notable new features: Messages in the Cloud and AirPlay 2. AirPlay 2 is a big deal: it adds multiroom support so multiple AirPlay 2 devices from a wide variety of manufacturers can all play the same music around your house, and it allows two HomePods to play as a stereo pair.
8 days ago by twleung
BabelPod: Line-In and Bluetooth Input for HomePod
there is a 2 second delay between when the audio input is received and when it is played on the HomePod, which means BabelPod won’t work well for video or gaming.
raspberry  HomePod  music  hacking  apple 
18 days ago by elkraneo
iOS 11.4 brings stereo pairs and multi-room audio with AirPlay 2 • Apple
<p>HomePod, the breakthrough wireless speaker from Apple, now delivers an even more immersive listening experience throughout the home with support for HomePod stereo pairs and a new multi-room audio system in iOS 11.4. This free software update introduces the most advanced, easy to use, wireless multi-room audio system using AirPlay 2 to play music in any room from any room, move music from one room to another or play the same song everywhere using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV or by asking Siri. HomePod is available in the US, UK and Australia and arrives in Canada, France and Germany starting June 18.</p>

So AirPlay 2 - the long-awaited, better-than-v1 flavour - arrives. Now my question is: will the tvOS update that comes with it allow you to set a HomePod as the default output for an Apple TV?

I ask because the HomePod makes a great output speaker for the Apple TV - far better than the reedy speakers of most flat-screen TVs - but although you can set the HomePod as an output, as soon as the Apple TV goes to sleep it forgets about the HomePod, and you have to tangle through the settings to get to the Audio/Video outputs again, and once more set the HomePod as output. It's as boring to do as it is to read.

Defaults matter; being able to default to this would be huge.
airplay  apple  homepod 
6 weeks ago by charlesarthur
Google beats Amazon to first place in smart speaker market • Canalys
<p>Smart speakers continue to be the world’s fastest-growing consumer technology segment, with year-on-year growth in Q1 2018 of 210% as shipments reached 9m units. Google took the top spot, beating Amazon for the first time, shipping 3.2m of its Google Home and Home Mini devices, against the 2.5m Echo devices shipped by Amazon. The US market share fell below 50% for the first time, partly due to Google and Amazon’s focus on expanding beyond their home markets, but also because of the increased traction that the technology is seeing with new vendors in markets such as China and South Korea.

Vendors shipped 1.8m smart speakers into the channel in Q1 2018 in China, while Korea overtook the UK to become the third largest market with 730,000 shipments.

Alibaba finished third overall and retained its number one position in China with 1.1 million Tmall Genie speaker shipments in Q1 2018… China’s smart speaker market is growing, with shipments up sequentially by more than 60%. Xiaomi, whose main business is selling smartphones, shipped over 600,000 of its Xiao AI speakers to China in Q1, coming a distant second after Alibaba’s Tmall Genie. “Awareness of smart speakers and their uses is growing steadily among Chinese consumers. But competition is building quickly for Alibaba, as IPO-hopeful Xiaomi takes to the smart speaker segment with much vigor in 2018.”</p>

Apple's HomePod went on sale in February; doesn't make the top five on Canalys's reckoning. Strategy Analytics, another research company, <a href="https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180517006158/en/Strategy-Analytics-Amazon's-Global-Smart-Speaker-Share/">has its own analysis</a> which gives Amazon 4m, Google. 2.4m, Alibaba 0.7m and Apple 0.6m. Neil Cybart, of Above Avalon, reckons Apple sold between 0.5m and 1.0m HomePods.

So one has Google on top and Apple nowhere, another has Amazon on top and Apple somewhere. Be lovely if these companies provided some clear figures sometime.
amazon  google  apple  homepod  voice  alexa 
7 weeks ago by charlesarthur

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