Apple HomePod review: locked in - The Verge


22 bookmarks. First posted by TypingPixels 14 days ago.


It’s also heavier than it looks, and it doesn’t feel at all like other speakers: the outside is wrapped in a custom spongy mesh fabric Apple proudly told me was developed by its “soft materials team.” I do not know if that team has any cats, but I suspect cats are going to love the HomePod.
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10 days ago by seaugust
The HomePod is Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo, the Google Home, the Sonos One, and every other smart speaker out there with a built-in voice assistant. The HomePod is a $349 speaker with Siri built in — the basic idea is pretty simple. It comes in two colors, it’s covered in a spongy fabric with a touch display at the top, and it’s surprisingly heavy. The HomePod will be released on February 9th.
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13 days ago by twleung
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13 days ago by stuartdredge
I don’t think I’ve ever described a tech product as “lonely” before, but it’s the word I thought about the most as I was reviewing Apple’s new HomePod. The…
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13 days ago by wahoo5
This might be all I need to know about HomePod.
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13 days ago by danielbentley
Apple HomePod review: looks great, has best-in-class sound for $349 and above, but voice controls only work with Apple Music, no third-party service support
13 days ago by joeo10
Come for the HomePod review, stay for the ness
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14 days ago by chadjw
Using binaural audio in this review was a stroke of genius:
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14 days ago by sethblanchard
Nilay Patel says that the HomePod delivers terrific - nay, amazing - music playback. But:
<p>If I had to bet, I would say that 99% of people will never compare a HomePod and, say, a Sonos One head-to-head in their kitchen. And if you don’t do that, you will never know that the HomePod can put out more bass and clearer mids than the Sonos One. You will instead think that the Sonos One sounds extremely good for its size and price while offering you the ability to use virtually any music service, including Spotify and Apple Music, and working with Amazon Alexa and (eventually) Google Assistant.

That’s really the crux of it: the HomePod sounds incredible, but not so world-bendingly amazing that you should switch away from Spotify, or accept Siri’s frustrating limitations as compared to Alexa.

Apple’s ecosystem lock-in is actively working against a remarkable product with the HomePod, and I say that as someone who uses Apple Music as their primary music service. Sometimes I want to listen to a radio station from TuneIn or SiriusXM; sometimes I want to just let Pandora handle it. Sometimes I want to ask the voice assistant in my house a random question and get a useful answer. And sometimes I want to have people over without remembering to turn off the feature that lets them access my text messages when I’m not in the room.

All of this is why I started thinking of the HomePod as “lonely.” It feels like it was designed for a very demanding person to use while living alone entirely inside Apple’s ecosystem. It’s tied more closely to a single iPhone and iCloud account than any other smart speaker, and Siri has none of the capability or vibrancy of what’s happening with Alexa. Apple can try to move mountains by itself, or it can recognize that the HomePod is a little iOS computer for the home and let developers build on it as they have for so long and with such great success with the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.</p>

Highly recommended too: <a href=“http://on.wsj.com/2nGp55L“>Joanna Stern’s video review for the WSJ</a>. Funny and incisive.
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14 days ago by charlesarthur
I don’t think I’ve ever described a tech product as “lonely” before, but it’s the word I thought about the most as I was reviewing Apple’s new HomePod. The HomePod, whether Apple likes it or not, is the company’s answer to the wildly popular Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.
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14 days ago by dvand5
I don’t think I’ve ever described a tech product as “lonely” before, but it’s the word I thought about the most as I was reviewing Apple’s new HomePod. The HomePod, whether Apple likes it or not, is the company’s answer to the wildly popular Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers. via Pocket
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14 days ago by keithprime
Apple has a "soft materials team?" Of course they do.
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14 days ago by leolaporte
When you set down a HomePod and play music, it goes through a number of steps to tune itself. First, it tries to create a model of the room it’s in by detecting the sounds reflecting off walls. It does this in two passes: the first pass builds a model to a high degree of initial confidence, and the second pass refines the model. This happens faster if you’re playing music with a lot of bass.
weekly  audio  privacy  data  sound  sonar 
14 days ago by twwoodward
Favorite tweet:

I… has anyone in Silicon Valley ever heard the concept of a "family" https://t.co/QqPAtEdjqF pic.twitter.com/ZR2iz2r6mn

— you heard it here first: tweting is bad (@alexhern) February 6, 2018
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14 days ago by laurajnash
I… has anyone in Silicon Valley ever heard the concept of a "family"
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14 days ago by alexhern
Nice review of the HomePod by . P.S. love that house!
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14 days ago by EricAppel
Apple HomePod review: locked in via Instapaper http://ift.tt/2GRoXbL
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14 days ago by TypingPixels