One can arguably say the biggest announcement by Apple yesterday was the HomePod. With this, Apple is officially taking on Amazon and Echo. Apple’s new smart speaker looks very much like its likes in that it has a 360 degrees array of six speakers with an upward facing woofer. The hardware in 7 inches tall and has a 4 inch base supporting it.
The fact that it works with Apple’s digital assistant Siri makes it easier to play over 40 million songs in the Apple Music library. Siri is based on artificial intelligence and this means that by simply dictating to your HomePod, its able to get you the minutest details like the drummer in a song you like.
“Designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music. HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings.”
The special awareness feature of the HomePod is such that it can it can sense its location in any part of the room and automatically adjust the audio to still produce the best sound quality.
The newly announced Airplay 2 protocol will allow multi-room audio for Homepod (its newly announced Amazon Echo and Google Home competition) users. This can be controlled using the Home app, Siri or even the newly designed Control Centre. This function is also integrated with Apple TV. The multi-room audio feature allows users to select different Airplay-supported speakers and other third party applications.
The device will be available starting in December, initially in Australia, the UK and the US with other markets to follow. Pricing starts at $349 in white and space gray colours.
The HomePod can carry out other tasks because of Siri but it’s obvious that Apple wants to market this as more a music assistant that can help you get more from Apple Music. As sales from the iPhone and iPad continue to fall, its services like Apple Music that have seen a rise in revenue.