The Amazon Echo was released in 2014, and the Google Home landed in 2016, but 2017 will be the year that Apple reenters the speaker market. At WWDC 2017, Apple unveiled the HomePod, and it aims to “reinvent music in the home.” Apple focused in on sound quality, intelligence, and privacy.
Apple’s HomePod will be landing in December in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia for $349. While it is only 7-inches tall, with a round like a shape similar to a Mac Pro, it packs a punch with sound. Inside it has seven beam-forming tweeters, a six-microphone array setup, an upward facing woofer, and the Apple A8 chip inside. With all of this sound technology inside and a chip that can create an ideal sound output, the HomePod has a lot to live up too.
Music should sound true to what the artist thought it would be and it will be able to play your music library plus the over 40 million songs found on Apple Music. But you have to remember the microphone setup that lives inside, and you can talk to it. Or rather the “it” is Siri and Apple is saying that the personal assistant is now a musicologist. Siri and Apple know your interests, for instance when you request a song or love a track in Apple Music. And with all of this intelligence, Siri can help to predict what music you like, but it can also be a source of trivia for information about music.
It is not just about music with Siri, as Apple’s personal assistant can handle a lot more than just music requests. You can use Siri on the HomePod to send messages, start a timer, ask questions, and for home control. As similar to the fourth generation Apple TV, the HomePod can act as a hub for HomeKit. Lastly, Apple made sure to note that privacy is of high importance with their smart speaker. When you use Hey Siri, the request is then sent to Apple’s server encrypted and with an anonymous Siri identifier.
Apple’s HomePod will be available in White or Space Gray when it lands this December.