Apple takes on Alexa and Google with HomePod

HomePod is Apple's first major new hardware product since the Apple Watch's release in 2015, and it comes at an important time for the company.

The main new feature, as reported by Neowin, is one called On-Demand Resources, which makes it possible for developers to create apps that are smaller to download initially.

How Much Does the HomePod Cost?

Apple unveiled HomePod, which looks like an electronic marshmallow, on Monday at its WWDC event in San Jose.

APPLE HAS announced Homepod, a new voice-controlled speaker. Or you could ask Siri to give you directions, or numerous other things. You don't put Siri in it without the foresight for what that means in a larger context, and you don't make it smart home compatible for the same reason.

The competition is hotting up in the home AI unit space and many Apple fans will be interested and excited to have access to a new device to add to the suite of gadgets they offer. But I'm going to focus on just one here: what you can do with it. The price point is considerably higher than the Amazon Echo ($180) and the Google Home ($129). You're a Pandora devotee?

After CNET's Scott Stein played his choice of songs including The Greatest by Sia, Sunrise by Norah Jones, Superstition by Stevie Wonder, DNA by Kendrick Lamar and a live performance of The Eagles' Hotel California, this is what he had to say, "HomePod came off as bolder and more vivid than Sonos Play:3 in the experience I tried, and a lot better than Amazon Echo". Now that you have a direct line to Amazon's warehouses, you might as well sign up for Prime, its free-shipping subscription service, and ditch Costco. By saying, "Hey Siri, I like this song", HomePod and Apple Music become the flawless musicologist, learning preferences from hundreds of genres and moods, across tens of thousands of playlists, and these music tastes are shared across devices.

"New indoor maps of areas like malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future".

Cook will say this product is the best music speaker you can buy.

HomePod is a wireless speaker you can talk to by saying, "Hey Siri". You're supposed to be able to just speak to them and get instant results - no phone required.

Buried at the bottom of the HomePod's spec sheet is the Trojan Horse into your living room: Siri integration, which can do everything from set timers to help run your smart home gear. That's a big bummer!

Given Siri, already available on iPhone devices, now supports more than 30 languages including Korean, Apple's smart speaker is widely expected to hit other worldwide markets in the near future. But it's not clear if it will. The Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO made a particular point of highlighting the mind-blowing sound quality of HomePod. These are uncharted waters for both Apple and its quirky virtual assistant, and even if the HomePod is now being pitched primarily to music lovers, it's also an exciting device for smart home diehards and gadget lovers in general.

  • Geraldine Cohen