Published: Thu, January 25, 2018
Tech | By Constance Martin

One Hour With Apple's New HomePod

One Hour With Apple's New HomePod

Six months after it was first announced, Apple's HomePod has finally gotten a release date: The smart speaker will be available for preorder Friday, and will ship and come to stores on February 9, Apple announced Tuesday. Apple execs say the speaker has been in the works for years, yet HomePod seems like it's just a knee-jerk response to Google Home and Amazon Echo, the smart speakers now setting the agenda. But in November, Apple deemed the device "not ready for prime time," and pushed back the release until early this year.

HomePod can send a message, set a timer, check the news and play podcasts with voice commands. The great success obtained by Amazon Echos and Google Home makes us think about a scenario in which there is a smart speaker in nearly every house. While Apple certainly has legions of loyal fans around the globe, many of them have probably already hopped on the voice-assisted speaker bandwagon with a device powered by Amazon or Google.

In anticipation of the Apple HomePod's upcoming launch, some of the features of the smart speaker have been revealed - one of which helps users maintain some semblance of privacy. Apple's A8 CPU powers the device. I've bought almost every major new Apple product that's come out since the original iPhone, but I think some crucial HomePod flaws make it totally unappealing for most people. Indeed, research from Canalys suggests that smart speaker sales could top 50 million in 2018.

The Apple wireless speaker has advanced audio technologies and delivers a unique listening experience from wherever it is placed and plays any genre of music.

The HomePod will retail at a price of $349 in the United States and it will come in white and space grey colour options. Apple's $349 smart speakers were initially scheduled to launch last December.

Microsoft announces devices to compete with Chromebooks
A year ago at Bett , Microsoft announced Intune for Education , its device management and provisioning service for schools. JP, on the other hand, is coming out with the new Classmate Leap T303 for $199, and the Trigono V401 2-in-1 for $299.

The smart speaker is created to work with an Apple Music subscription, and claims to learn a users' tastes and preferences.

HomePod works like other home assistants in that it uses an AI assistant to perform tasks for the user.

Apple has designs on not just selling one of these, it would love to see a HomePod in your kitchen, bedroom, dining room and elsewhere.

Apple has also announced that an upcoming free software update will enable users to play music throughout a house via multiroom audio.

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