Apple's Smart Speaker HomePod Finally Comes To Market

Apple's Smart Speaker HomePod Finally Comes To Market

Apple is launching shipments of its HomePod smart speaker Friday, but by all accounts, the emphasis with HomePod is much more on the speaker than on the smarts. Here are three ways businesses can deploy HomePods to benefit office environments.

Find the music-playback controls - by default in the top right. Meanwhile, today - February 9th - saw the global release of Apple's Siri-powered HomePod.

This is a no-brainer. Others prefer subtle white noise or unobtrusive ambient music play in offices to improve their concentration, provide some privacy, and mute varied conversations, HVAC sounds, and other environmental noises that are common in offices. With a well-designed woofer and dynamic processing, the device delivers quality sound and is more than up to such rigors. 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. "So it can play Spotify without the deep integration and control with Siri".

The six microphones built into the device lets Siri hear a user even from a distance. Unfortunately, all that is now locked up on the HomePod. You don't have to manually tune it, as, say, with the Sonos One. You can also wake it up from across the room by saying "Hey, Siri". The ability to ask natural questions to frequently needed information can save office workers time, which we all know equates to money. Although all three speakers enable key functions such as checking weather conditions, setting times and alarms, voice calling, and other basic features to be carried out smoothly, there is still room for improvement in both the Apple and Google systems.

When Siri isn't playing Apple Music mixologist, the virtual assistant can also answer questions.

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Priced at $349, it's much more expensive than the Amazon Echo and Google Home, which are roughly a third of the price.

Amazon pitches the Echo as a smart home assistant that happens to play music. If you are looking for a smart speaker, Alexa is ahead of the race with Google Home close behind.

Note that the $199 Sonos One is able to use Alexa now, is adding Google Assistant support via a software update in the near future, and will have support for streaming music via Apple's upcoming AirPlay 2, as well. The company also made a decision to compile that playlist on Spotify, for a reason: At this point, Homepod users can't launch Spotify playlists on the device. Partly because it was the first major smart speaker released, Echo has a greater depth of capabilities than any of its rivals. Now that they've missed the chance of competing for sales during the holidays, overall interest in Apple's smart speaker may have continued to die down.

Google Home Max launched this week.

For example, the statement, "Hey Siri, I'm home", could activate the lights in your bedroom and living room, play a jazz radio station through HomePod, and activate the kettle in preparation to make tea. "Siri doesn't even work as well on HomePod as it does on the iPhone".

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