Here's What an Amazon Exec Says About Apple's HomePod

A prototype Apple Home Pod is seen during the annual Apple Worldwide Developer Conference in San Jose California    
  
  
         Image by STEPHEN LAM     
          REUTERS

If Apple manages to beat the latter two in terms of sound quality and match Amazon and Google in terms of voice integration, the price could be justified for Apple device users. While Apple was an early entry into voice assistants with the introduction of Siri in 2011, voice assistants from Amazon and Google have largely surpassed Apple with the launch of Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers.

All told, companies are pushing for voice-powered commands where computing is not tied to a screen.

More than anything else, the company that made the iPod and iTunes wants its new speaker to be about music. The HomePod is also tied in to the Apple Homekit, so you can talk to the speaker to interact with other HomeKit accessories. But Google and Apple don't offer a budget option at all.

"From our standpoints it's a little different philosophically than how we are looking at Echo", he told a group of reporters at the Wired Business Conference in NY.

At a height of seven inches, it has an upward-facing woofer with an A8 chip which "enables bass management through real-time software modelling". Of course, HomePod has some shiny, innovative features like scanning your room to configure the sound to the ideal frequency, but again, these are some a few features Apple rolls out in its devices to justify its outlandish prices. Whether you care about a lot of them is not what I'm here to talk about, but I did want to at least highlight the HomePod, which is Apple's Google Home and Amazon Echo competitor.

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Possibly the best part is its spatial awareness, allowing it to scan the room and deliver the best audio quality based on the acoustics in its environment. This is very similar to Sonos' Trueplay feature, which similarly tunes its speakers to any room.

Speaking to USA Today in an interview published on Wednesday, Amazon senior vice president of devices David Limp seemed unmoved by Apple's new smart home speaker HomePod. Apple says it has designed HomePod speaker to work with Apple Music and the cylinder-shaped device can wirelessly access over 40 million songs from the music streaming service. Amazon recently added message and call options, so the speakers will likely be used even more for communication in the future.

The Echo can play music from popular music services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn and iHeart Radio.

All three speakers are worthy choices. Named as the Apple HomePod, the speakers are a competition to the Sonos PLAY:3, Amazon Echo, and the Google Home speakers.

HomePod includes Siri voice integration and will function as a "home assistant", according to Schiller. At WWDC, Apple announced the speaker category for HomeKit, so other speaker makers could more tightly integrate with iOS.

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