HomePod

Apple HomePod price cut drops Siri speaker under $300

Apple HomePod price cut drops Siri speaker under $300

Apple has cut the price of HomePod, its Siri-powered smart speaker, dropping it below $300. Launched in February last year, HomePod was Apple's response to smart speaker rivals like Google Home and Amazon Echo, as well as more traditional multi-room speakers from Sonos.

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HomePods might someday have gesture, face recognition

HomePods might someday have gesture, face recognition

There's no denying that Apple was terribly late to the smart speaker market. Despite marketing it less as a smart speaker and more as a premium audio accessory with smarts, the HomePod has and always will be compared to the likes of the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. And while it might seem that Apple has put HomePod development on the back burner, a recently surfaced patent could give future generation smart speakers an edge over the competition when it comes to hand gestures, face recognition, and even simple visual feedback.

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Amazon Echo install base dominates Google Home, Apple HomePod

Amazon Echo install base dominates Google Home, Apple HomePod

The latest data from CIRP suggests that Amazon's Echo device active installed user base towers over that of the competition. It's never really been a contest, since the group started recording data, back in December of 2017. Amazon's Echo devices with Alexa started with more than double the smart speaker installed base of their closest competitor in Google with Google Home. Each successive quarter showed a similar pattern, with Amazon in the very, very clear lead and Google Home sitting at around 1/3 the base Amazon commands.

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iOS 12.1.3 fixes major Messages, CarPlay, HomePod headaches

iOS 12.1.3 fixes major Messages, CarPlay, HomePod headaches

Apple has just rolled out version 12.1.3 of iOS and while the numbering does suggest it’s just a maintenance update, it’s one that many users might want to apply ASAP. No, it doesn’t add any new feature or activates a hidden one. Instead, it fixes bugs users have been experiencing across almost all of Apple’s products except Macs that have been giving them no small amount of heartache in the past weeks since iOS 12.1.2.

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Apple’s latest HomePod bug fix has users frustrated

Apple’s latest HomePod bug fix has users frustrated

Ever since the Apple HomePod first launched, Apple Music subscribers with an individual plan have been able to stream music to it while streaming something different to an iOS device. This functionality was particularly handy, as it meant that you could listen to music on an iPhone while out and about as someone else used the same Apple ID to stream different music on Apple's smart speaker at home. As it turns out, that functionality wasn't intended by Apple.

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Apple HomePod makes its way to China this week

Apple HomePod makes its way to China this week

Apple’s older iPhones might be banned in China, but that’s not stopping its other products from launching there. Almost as if to reassure the public that it’s business as usual, Apple has announced the upcoming availability of its HomePod smart speakers in mainland China and Hong Kong starting this weekend. And given the rather sensitive location of its new launch market, the company unsurprisingly makes a not so subtle reminder of how much it values privacy and security, even when doing business in China.

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Refurbished HomePod now available, Black Friday deal still better

Refurbished HomePod now available, Black Friday deal still better

When Apple finally launched its overdue HomePods, it premium home speakers with some smarts were criticized for at least two things. Not only were they terribly late to the game, they were also considered too expensive for what little they offered. Since then, Apple has updated the HomePod with additional features that could at least make that $350 price tag worth your while. Now it is offering an even cheaper option for those who don’t mind purchasing refurbished products.

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HomePod finally gets much-awaited, long-overdue features

HomePod finally gets much-awaited, long-overdue features

While Apple’s recently concluded event focused on the new iPhone X generation and Apple Watch Series 4, that wasn’t the only big things the company had prepared. Outside of the spotlight, Apple announced an update to the HomePod that might make its $349 price tag finally worth it for some interested buyers. In addition to things like being able to make and take calls, the smart speaker is finally getting a whole lot smarter thanks to the addition of Siri Shortcuts.

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Apple Music’s strategy is working

Apple Music’s strategy is working

Tim cook mentioned earlier this year that Apple Music wasn't "in it for the money." Since then, Apple Music paid subscriber numbers grew from somewhere below 38-million to around 50-million. It would appear that not being in the streaming music business for the money is working out OK for Apple over the last few months.

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HomePod iOS 12 beta finally brings more sensible call support

HomePod iOS 12 beta finally brings more sensible call support

In just two months, Apple will finally be unveiling its three new iPhones for the year. For those not interested in upgrading phones, the launch does bring something more interesting as well: iOS 12. But wait, there’s more! While iOS 12’s upcoming features have mostly been covered by now, one thing that seems to have slipped past is how it will affect the HomePod speakers. Finally, we’re hearing about that and, suffice it to say, owners will finally be getting the smart speaker they deserved.

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Apple probably making more fabric-wearing devices

Apple probably making more fabric-wearing devices

In a set of product drawings made by Apple we've seen what could very well be the future of the brand's smart devices collection - conceptually, anyway. The drawings come from a patent description packet by the name of "Structured Fabrics for Electronic Devices," and it was first filed in February of 2018 with the USPTO. In Apple patent filing terms, that's CRAZY recent - generally we see patent filing dates YEARS before the publication date - here that's just not so.

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Apple plots noise-cancelling AirPods and smarter headphones for 2019

Apple plots noise-cancelling AirPods and smarter headphones for 2019

Apple may soon try to target the high-end with its audio devices, as new rumors are claiming that it has a more capable pair of AirPods in the works. Those new AirPods could be joined by a pair of over-the-ear headphones meant to challenge similar devices from Bose and Sennheiser, along with a new version of the company's HomePod. Details are a little spotty at the moment, but we're hearing that these new audio devices could arrive as early as next year.

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