Apple HomePod: a great sound but it seems less intelligent than Google Home
U. S. Tech websites have been testing Apple’s latest product for a few days. They praised the excellent sound quality but regretted the limited use of Siri.
A marvel of software engineering, a more qualitative sound than that delivered by loudspeakers more expensive but critical intellectual limitations. American media specialized in new technologies delivered their first verdicts on the strengths and weaknesses of the HomePod, Apple’s latest creation.
Available since February 9 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia at a price of $349, the HomePod is a voice-driven connected speaker via Apple Siri’s virtual assistant that focuses on acoustic performance.
The HomePod is Apple’s response to Amazon and Google, which capture most of the market share of voice-activated smart speakers with Google Home and Amazon Echo. With these products fuelled by artificial intelligence, the digital giants hope to be able to impose their services in the users’ homes.
An excellent and easy to use speaker
All the journalists who have tried Apple’s speaker system agree on one thing: the HomePod keeps its promises regarding sound performance with excellent bass. The device’s eight speakers and seven microphones, driven by a microprocessor designed by Apple, do justice to the device’s premium positioning.
The HomePod offers the best of your music, no matter where you are. An accelerometer allows the HomePod to adapt to the room in which it is installed to deliver a spatialised sound like the Sonos speakers.
American medias also praise the ease of use of Apple’s latest product. The software and hardware know-how of the American group is once again reflected in the installation and configuration of the HomePod, which takes just a few seconds from an iPhone. The paw of the American IT group is as impressive in the sleeker style of the device, which is finally more compact than its competitors Home Max or Sonos Play: 5. A good point for Apple that capitalizes on its strengths.
An environment locked in the Apple universe.
The HomePod is designed to become the cornerstone of music listening at home. Provided you subscribe to Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music. Unlike its rivals Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple’s speaker only works with the home ecosystem. No need to hope to throw a song on Deezer or Spotify. Only Apple Music, iTunes, Beats1, and MusicMatch are compatible with the native features of the device.
The HomePod logically gives its full measure with Apple Music. It is therefore aimed above all at Apple addicts, who have several products and subscriptions to the group’s services and will see no disadvantage in remaining in its universe. To play a song from a competing service, you will have to use the AirPlay protocol.
Siri use is still limited.
The analysis site Loup Ventures has put the artificial intelligence of Apple’s loudspeaker to the test against that of Google. According to the results obtained, Siri is far from overcoming his delay on Google Assistant. Less relevant, Apple’s voice was only able to provide a correct answer to 52% of the 782 questions asked during the exam.
Finally, it is difficult not to mention the red card addressed to Apple by iFixit. The site specializing in the dismantling of technological products scrutinized the HomePod and found that it, like other Apple devices, was simply irreparable. No easy access to components is provided.
The repair mark is irrevocable: 1/10. In other words, in the event of a glitch, it’s better to rely on a simple and straightforward replacement by Apple.