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Apple Takes on Google Home and the Amazon Echo with the HomePod

Apple’s Home Assistant Powered by Siri

Home assistants seem to be one of the trends in the tech world; with offerings like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. These Home Assistants can help with a lot of things, especially if you can connect most of household appliances to it. They can turn lights on and off, or even set the mood through lighting if you have things like Phillips Hue LED strips and bulbs connected around the house.

Still using a remote control? That’s so old school! You can hook up one of these home assistants to your smart TV to fire up Netflix or Amazon Prime to have it play the current show you’re binge watching or that movie you want to see one more time. Heck! You can even hook up Google Home to your washing machine; you have to load your own dirty clothes, but you can control it with a home assistant.

And, of course, Apple wants a piece of the pie. At WWDC 2017, Apple introduced their version of the home assistant powered by Siri, the HomePod.

Photos courtesy of Apple

The HomePod stands 7-inches tall, that’s 17.78cm for those of you who love the metric system. Inside it’s frame are 7 tweeters near the bottom of the device, each with its individual drivers, and an upward facing woofer that Apple says “gives off the cleanest, deepest bass possible without distortion.” We’ve been watching a few clips and reading about the HomePod this morning, and a lot of tech outlets actually say that the speaker sound really good.

You have Apple’s own A8 chip running the show on HomePod, which has spatial awareness and knows where it is in the room to give out the best sound possible. If you’re willing to dole out the dough, you can also get a second HomePod and have them work in tandem to really fill the room with sound. We’ll talk about price at the end of the article.

It wouldn’t be a home assistant if you couldn’t bark out orders to it, and who better to help you out with the HomePod than Apple’s own Siri. When you say: “Hey, Siri…” a waveform appears on the top of the HomePod to indicate that its listening with its array of six microphones that can supposedly hear you whether you’re right next to the unit or across the room from it; even while music is playing. You can access the tunes on Apple Music, ask Siri to add songs to a playlist, or ask who the artist is on a particular track; while learning your musical preferences.

Aside from playing tracks, you can also use HomePod to set reminders, send messages, ask about the scores of the NBA game you can’t watch, and, of course, control smart devices within your home.

The Apple HomePod is priced at $349 or Php 17,249, which is more than what the Google Home and Amazon Echo cost combined, and should be available in the US, Australia, and the UK by December. Apple will start rolling out the HomePad to other countries in 2018.


Jamie Inocian

A self-confessed geek. Jamie started out helping out on the Unbox Podcast and became the Digital Sales Manager when he joined the team full time. He has since then transitioned into one of our Senior Editors and Head Video Producer.

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