HomePod

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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Apple HomePod stereo pairing: Hands-on

Apple HomePod stereo pairing: Hands-on

If one HomePod sounds great, how about two of Apple's speakers set up as a stereo pair? With the arrival of AirPlay 2 this week, right on the cusp of WWDC 2018, Apple finally delivers on music promises it made back when it first announced HomePod at WWDC 2017 last year.

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There’s more to AirPlay 2’s 3rd-party speaker support than this official list

There’s more to AirPlay 2’s 3rd-party speaker support than this official list

Apple has confirmed which third-party connected speakers will be AirPlay 2 compatible, though the 33 models on the list isn't quite the whole story. The new streaming functionality was added to iOS devices today as part of the iOS 11.4 release, allowing Apple's HomePod speaker to integrate with a multi-room music setup, among other things.

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Apple iOS 11.4 released: Messages in iCloud, AirPlay 2, more

Apple iOS 11.4 released: Messages in iCloud, AirPlay 2, more

Apple's iOS 11.4 update has been released, and with Messages in iCloud support, there's more to it than just AirPlay 2. The new version - which is arriving on iPhone, iPad, and the HomePod - was announced earlier today, with its support for bringing some much-needed features to Apple's smart speaker.

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AirPlay 2 with HomePod stereo pairs and multi-room arrives in iOS 11.4

AirPlay 2 with HomePod stereo pairs and multi-room arrives in iOS 11.4

Apple has launched AirPlay 2 in iOS 11.4, adding HomePod stereo pair support along with multi-room audio streaming. The new version of AirPlay 2 comes along with launch dates for HomePod in three new countries - Canada, France, and Germany - bringing the total number of places you can buy the Siri-powered smart speaker to six.

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Apple HomePod by Beats: Cheaper but not enough to save it

Apple HomePod by Beats: Cheaper but not enough to save it

Apple products don't always become an overnight success. Some take years of constant marketing to hammer them into consumers' skulls. So while the HomePod's reported lackluster sales are disappointing for Apple fans, they might not be as fatal as some predict it to be. That said, the company seems to be trying to salvage its image by making a rather odd move. Not only is it coming out with a cheaper HomePod, according to reports it might not be launched as a HomePod at all.

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A cheaper Apple HomePod won’t help, analyst predicts

A cheaper Apple HomePod won’t help, analyst predicts

The pessimism around Apple HomePod continues to mount, with suggestions that the smart speaker could only sell a small fraction of the total amount predicted for 2018. The Siri-powered speaker launched earlier this year to no shortage of fanfare from Apple, promising the slickest way to consume Apple Music as well as smart home and iPhone integration.

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Can Apple bring itself to save HomePod?

Can Apple bring itself to save HomePod?

HomePod was meant to be Apple's triumphant splash in the smart speaker market, but the reality has been a little less rewarding. Official sales numbers still haven't been shared - and, most likely, never will - but reports this week suggest demand for the Siri-powered speaker has been a fraction of what Apple predicted. Ironically, though, there are a few fairly straightforward ways that HomePod could be improved. Apple could even do some of them without needing to change its hardware at all. The question is not so much how Apple could do it, really, it's if Apple could.

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HomePod may be struggling but Apple Music certainly isn’t

HomePod may be struggling but Apple Music certainly isn’t

Apple Music now has over 40m paid subscribers and up to 8m more in the pipeline, though that growth may well be despite, not because, of the HomePod smart speaker. The Cupertino company's streaming music service is playing catch-up to Spotify, having launched several years later.

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Apple HomePod sales are more than just disappointing

Apple HomePod sales are more than just disappointing

You can only spin a bad thing so much before reality sinks in. Apple has been positioning the HomePod as less of a smart speaker and more of a high-quality speaker that just happens to have just a little smarts. While there's no arguing that point, it doesn't seem to be syncing with consumers at all. After a brief spike during preorders, the Apple HomePod has ended up with just about 10% of the market share, way behind the Amazon Echo and even behind the Google Home.

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Apple looking to make significant Siri improvements, hints hiring spree

Apple looking to make significant Siri improvements, hints hiring spree

Apple's HomePod smart speaker released earlier this year with impressive audio quality and Apple Music integration, but there's no denying that the tech powering the device, Siri, still lags behind virtual assistant rivals like Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. While Siri handles music playback requests with ease, it still struggles with general knowledge questions that the others have no problem with. It seems Apple is in a hurry to address this shortcoming, however, as indicated by a big increase in Siri-related hiring.

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