The war for your digital home is waging. The HomePod was years in the making and delayed months before it finally arrived Friday - yet still feels like an unfinished product.
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced the HomePod at a keynote address in June 2017, saying that it would "reinvent home music".
And while you can use HomePod as a speakerphone, Siri on the new speaker cannot initiate the call.
"Siri on HomePod is embarrassingly inadequate, even though that is the primary way you interact with it", wrote Brian Chen in his review of HomePod for The New York Times.
But the capabilities of these assistants are increasing at lightning speed. The HomePod is also able to detect its position in a room by sending sound beams in all directions and detecting when and where the beams are bounced back from a wall in a sound test that lasts 10 seconds, according to the Verge. However, the very interesting thing is YouTube's bot claims it is only the Apple HomePod version of the audio which was sufficiently recognisable and clear enough to infringe copyright.
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Amazon Echo essentially houses Alexa, the personal assistant developed by the huge company. Because Amazon opened up its system for anyone to write software programs for it, Alexa now has specific capabilities or "skills" in its USA version alone, up from 5,000 just over a year ago. Who tells the best jokes?
Today marks the first time - in any country - all three home assistants are available, whether the US, Australia or other countries and no doubt the big question for many is which one? "Any speaker can blast music but the "HomePod puts music around the room".
You can control HomePod from your iPhone, though iOS doesn't make it especially easy. Amazon and Google's options work with both Android and Apple.
From a "smart speaker" perspective, HomePod's strongest suit is its six-microphone array, which can hear you say "Hey Siri" at a distance at a reasonable volume, even when the speakers are loudly playing music.
Apple's newest product, a smart speaker called HomePod, hit stores today and the reviews are generally positive.
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But HomePod isn't really a smart speaker - not yet at least.
Most notably, which one plays music the best?
How does it compare with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos One? Cortana comes standard on Windows machines but it's also available for download on Android and iOS.
It's worth noting smart speakers launched by these brands are mainly based on speech recognition of English. So while its rivals are spreading their AI into every corner of our lives, Apple is keeping it locked up in the company's expensive products. You're paying a lot to get even more entrenched in Apple's world.
With this being central to the speaker systems, each assistant is more than adequate, but each carries its own advantages and disadvantages. Admittedly, this fine-tuning will come in the way of software updates in the future, but the fact remains that Google Home still dominates voice search and functionality. "Not even Siri can answer whether that will be possible". If Apple continues to stick to its closed system, it's hard to see how it will ever start to win again.
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