Apple's HomePod User Guide Tells You Everything About the Smart Speaker


The upcoming smart speaker can be controlled with your voice using Apple's Siri virtual assistant, and is set to be a major rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. From there, your Apple ID and other account settings will be transferred to the HomePod. CEO Tim Cook even misspoke during Apple's recent earnings call when he said that you could summon Siri on HomePod to hail a Lyft or Uber.

People in Australia, the United Kingdom and US are starting to receive their pre-ordered HomePods and getting to experience its sound quality in person for the first time.

If you fit that description and are willing to fork over $349 plus embrace the subscription-only Apple Music streaming service, HomePod is well worth the wait, an outcome I reached after testing the speaker for just shy of a week.

The Apple Home Pod smart speaker inside the Cupertino lab in which it was developed
The Apple Home Pod smart speaker inside the Cupertino lab in which it was developed

In a way, sending this tweet with a Spotify playlist was like baking a sugar-dripping birthday cake for a diabetic.

Even when handling interactions with Apple Music, Siri is far from a joy to use on the HomePod, according to Chen. Siri's capacities are limited next to the Google Assistant, as the latter is capable of performing other tasks such as doing Google searches or even answering trivia questions.

A waveform display appears at the top of the cylinder base, letting a user know that Siri is listening, and it doubles as a control pad.

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Amazon pitches the Echo as a smart home assistant that happens to play music.

Commands such as "Hey Siri, what's the weather like in New York City?" and "Hey Siri, play Kanye West" work without a hitch. You might, for example, ask Siri to play classical musical in the basement at the same time you play the blues in the kitchen.

When it comes to music, Google, and for that matter Amazon, can help you play a song in which you can't recall the title and only remember a few lyrics. The sound quality is tops and design is lovely, but with a heftier price tag, lack of partnerships with companies like Spotify and Uber, and Siri's inability to be truly useful right now, it's more of an Apple aspiration than a product ready for the prime time.

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Google Home Max launched this week. More than 16% of iPhone users were strongly compelled to purchase an Echo device over a HomePod. Your iPhone or iPad will need to be connected to Wi-Fi and have Bluetooth enabled.

Comedian and vlogger Lamarr Wilson tweeted Siri's response to him asking when the HomePod would be available to buy. So why is it still so complicated?

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