HomePod Overview Updated June 19, 2018

HomePod

The new sound of home

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209 'HomePod' stories

May 2016 - June 2018


At its Worldwide Developer Conference, Apple officially took the wraps off of its oft-rumored speaker in the form of HomePod. The device acts as a standalone way for users to interact with Siri, play music, and more. Tim Cook touts this as Apple’s effort to “reinvent home music” just as it did with products like the iPod.

Prior to announcing Apple’s product, Phil Schiller explained that Apple has worked to take what companies like Sonos and Amazon have done and create a “breakthrough home speaker.”

Schiller explained that a successful speaker must “rock the house,” have “spatial awareness,” and “be a musicologist.”

To offer strong sound quality, the HomePod features a 7 tweeter array with precision acoustic horns and directional control. There’s also an Apple-designed 4-inch woofer and it’s powered by Apple’s A8 chip. It measures in at just under 7-inches tall and features a mesh design.

Here’s how Apple describes HomePod:

HomePod is a powerful speaker that sounds amazing, adapts to wherever it’s playing, and together with Apple Music, gives you effortless access to one of the world’s largest music catalogs. All controlled through natural voice interaction with Siri. It takes the listening experience to a whole new level. And that’s just the beginning.

HomePod will be available in White and Space Gray for $349 in December.

HomePod Stories June 19

A new survey of smart speaker owners found that only 6% of them are currently using the device to control smart home devices like lighting and heating.

Interestingly, even for HomePod – which is a very music-focused device – playing music was only the third most common use …

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HomePod Stories June 18

The HomePod today launches in three new regions, bringing Apple’s smart speaker to Canada, France and Germany. The smart speaker offers leading sound quality for its size class, with native Siri voice control for Apple Music ($9.99 per month) and smart assistant tasks like controlling HomeKit accessories, checking the weather and more.

HomePod understands French and German languages, alongside the new country rollouts. Apple will be adding support for Canadian French later this year.

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Sylvania HomeKit Light Strip

HomePod Stories June 14

Coinciding with the release of the HomePod earlier this year, Apple debuted a trippy 4-minute advertisement for the smart speaker directed by Spike Jonze and starring FKA Twigs. Now, that ad has taken home an award at the Association of Independent Commercial Producers Show…

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HomePod Stories June 1

Smart speakers predicted to overtake wearables in US market this year

Tech research firm eMarketer is predicting dramatic growth in the US smart speaker market, anticipating that it will overtake wearables like smart watches at some point this year …

HomePod Stories May 31

In my HomePod Diary piece yesterday, I included what was almost a throwaway comment:

One oddity is that you have to assign the left and right channels manually. Given that most people will, I imagine, orientate the speakers so that the volume controls are the right way up, I would have thought a pair of HomePods ought to be able to figure out the channels for themselves. Play a sound through one speaker and then use the directional mics on the other one to figure out whether the sound is coming from the left or right.

It’s a minor quibble, given that it takes seconds to assign them manually, but it slightly offended my sense of technological efficiency that they required me to do it.

Little did I know how many comments that one small suggestion was going to generate …

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HomePod Stories May 30

It was a frustratingly long wait for Apple to finally launch AirPlay 2, adding stereo pairing to HomePod – along with multi-room playback from an iOS device and more.

If you haven’t already updated, you’ll need to upgrade to iOS 11.4, and then update your speakers. I did that yesterday, finding it a largely painless process, through there were a couple of glitches which I’ll get to.

That done, I was finally able to find out how a pair of HomePods sound …

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