The highly anticipated and frustratingly delayed Apple HomePod was finally released. So, does it live up to the hype?
Spoiler alert: people are #notimpressed with Apple’s first smart home speaker.
Overall, everyone agrees on two things about the new Apple HomePod, which was aiming to be a major competitor to the Amazon Echo family, as well as the Google Home speakers:
1.) The speaker itself is impressive
2.) Siri doesn’t hold up to the other smart assistants
I lazily pulled other people’s reviews, since I didn’t want to write my own. But, I do add my commentary, for what it’s worth.
TL/DR: Go with the established Amazon Echo or Google Home; you’ll get better smart performance, and you’ll save your bank account some tears.
The reviews of Apple’s HomePod speaker suggest that Apple has made a product that focuses on sound and not on smart features, which are barely present.
Ouch. This one hurts. I mean, no one is looking for a high-end Bluetooth speaker; we’re looking for a smart speaker. In fact, we’re looking for our smart speakers to have intuitive, predictive artificial intelligence (AI) and the technology isn’t even there yet. So for Apple – yes, Apple, the Apple, you know, one of the world’s most innovative companies – to not only fall short of today’s available technology, but to also not push it forward…well, it’s disappointing. The speaker’s software doesn’t even allow you to pair it with a stereo, or to use multiple speakers simultaneously across different rooms. These features are rumored to be coming soon, but it’s a miss to not have them upon release, when the competitors already have them.
Great sound, but it’s trapped in Apple’s world.
This is one of the worst things about the new smart speaker from Apple. You can’t use any services that aren’t Apple services. That knocks out Amazon music entirely. You also have no access if you use Droid-based mobile devices. Siri and HomeKit just can’t match the device and app compatibility that you get with an Amazon or Google smart home speaker.
NY Times Review:
The $349 HomePod, which costs roughly three times its competitors…is tough to recommend…
Sure, there are hardcore Apple fanatics that will buy and love the HomePod just because it is an Apple product. I get it. I have my loyalties. But…it’s just hard to justify buying a product that is at the top of the price range, but the bottom of the performance range. Since the trend is for households to use multiple smart home speakers across rooms, HomePod users are looking at $700+ to outfit their home with smart speakers. Yup, that is just for the speakers. That doesn’t even include what it will cost to add any additional smart home products, like locks and lights. Amazon and Google have both released very affordable “mini” versions of their speakers, which helps users save some money; Apple doesn’t even have this option yet.
After my initial post Who Is Ready To Shell Out $350 For the Apple HomePod I was ready to get my hands on my own HomePod, but now I’m a little disappointed to be quite honest. What about you? Let me know down in the comments!