‘Tis the season for commercials featuring your favourite smart home speaker showing off what it can do—which means you may have experienced your Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri responding to questions that come from your TV. And it’s annoying to have to shout, “Hey Google, stop,” or the equivalent phrase for your smart speaker, every time this happens.
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Touchscreens have become the primary way many of us interact with the digital world, but they aren't great options for the visually impaired. Smartphones have small displays and require precise controls, and their screens shut off after a few moments of inactivity, which makes them difficult to use if your vision isn't great. In these instances, a smart speaker is probably a much more useful device.
Reports say that Apple has cut back orders with Inventec, the company that makes the HomePod. While pre-orders were strong, after the initial rush Apple has struggled to keep things moving along. It seems that the market is reacting to the high price and mediocre intelligence of Apple's foray into the world of connected speakers.
The HomePod's best feature is its sound quality, but Apple also went above and beyond when it comes to controlling the volume of your music. Sure, you could just tell Siri to "raise the volume" or tap the buttons on top of the speaker, but for the best results try adjusting the HomePod's volume on a scale of 1-100.
If you just picked up Apple's flashy new HomePod speaker you might be thinking of displaying it proudly on the nicest piece of furniture you have, but before you do there's something you should know. The $499 gadget's silicon base can damage wooden surfaces, leaving behind an ugly stain.
Apple's HomePod is finally launching on February 9, but the reviews are already pouring in. Overall, it sounds as though Apple managed to make a great-sounding speaker while leaving out many of the features that might qualify it as smart. However, there is one "smart" feature the HomePod does offer that you're probably better off not using: Personal Requests.
Now that Amazon's Echo has been launched locally, we have a full set of premium speakers that can be used as home assistants that can listen to our commands and pander to our beck and call. So, how does it stack up against Google's Home and the Apple HomePod, which hits the stores tomorrow? Let's take a look.
Apple says their new HomePod smart speaker will be available on 9 February 2018 with pre-orders opening this Saturday. The HomePod has come quite a bit later than expected but with some functionality to come after the initial release. And the company also dropped a number of software updates overnight that patch older versions of macOS/OS X against Spectre and Meltdown as well as addressing other problems right across their full suite of operating systems.