HomePod

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.

Continue Reading

Siri needs these features to catch up with the competition

Siri needs these features to catch up with the competition

The smart speaker market is heating up and it’s being driven not just by the “speaker” part but, more importantly, the “smart” part as well. Apple can sing all it wants about the quality of the HomePod’s audio experience, but it will only be a matter of time before high-quality Amazon or Google speakers pop up. Siri, in contrast, might have a harder time catching up with its AI rivals. Here are just five features where Siri has clearly lagged behind Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and maybe even Samsung Bixby.

Continue Reading

iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3 beta 3 rips out AirPlay 2

iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3 beta 3 rips out AirPlay 2

Apple giveth and Apple taketh away. The third beta for the company’s mobile, TV, and desktop platforms has just rolled out to developers. And while they come loaded with new things, including important bugfixes, it’s the one thing that Apple removed that is making the biggest noise. As of the third beta for iOS 11.3 as well as tvOS 11.3, AirPlay 2 is no more. Not only does this mean no more multi-room feature, it also paints the HomePod in a disappointing light yet again.

Continue Reading

HomePod coaster spawned by Apple’s speaker ring saga

HomePod coaster spawned by Apple’s speaker ring saga

Welcome to the inevitable result of HomePod's odd furniture ring issue: coasters specially designed for Apple's speaker. After Apple conceded that yes, under certain circumstances and on some surfaces like oiled wood, the silicone base on which HomePod sits could leave white rings on your furniture, it was only a matter of time until some enterprising accessory company stepped in to save the day.

Continue Reading

Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo showdown

Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo showdown

With the launch of the Apple HomePod, and pending the launch of a Bixby speaker, if there will ever be one, the major pieces on the smart speaker game board are now all in place. And so are the three major voice-controlled AI-driven smart assistants (sorry Cortana, you’ll have to sit this one out). That means, of course, questions on which one you should buy. “Should” is probably too strong a word, because it really depends on multiple factors. We can, however, give you the lay of the land so that you can decide better where to sink your hard-earned money into.

Continue Reading

Apple HomePod build cost hints at thin margins

Apple HomePod build cost hints at thin margins

Knowing how much it costs a device to be built is ultimately not really of practical use to consumers, but it’s an interesting metric for many reasons. For one, it reveals just how much companies are charging on top of how much it really cost to make each product. This profit margin, as it is called, can then be used to discern a company’s vision and goal for the product. And in the case of the Apple HomePod, it seems that Apple is compressing its margins down to 38%, making up for it in sales volume instead.

Continue Reading

HomePod is changing how I listen to music

HomePod is changing how I listen to music

Is Siri better than the Google Assistant, or worse than Alexa, or the downfall of Apple's HomePod, or the reason it's so good? The questions around the Cupertino company's first connected speaker are numerous and fairly predictable, just like the tests pitting one virtual assistant against another in fact. From the start I'd figured Siri makes an excellent guide through Apple Music - you can credit Apple's otherwise frustratingly tight integration between streaming service and speaker for that - but what I didn't expect was how much she would change how I listen to music.

Continue Reading

HomePod white ring issue confirmed by Apple [Update]

HomePod white ring issue confirmed by Apple [Update]

Apple's HomePod may auto-tune itself to suit wherever it's placed in a room, but there's a physical reason why you should still be careful about where you put the smart speaker. The Siri-powered music player is one of Apple's more cohesive designs of late, smaller than you might expect from photos, and clad in a textured - but acoustically transparent - fabric sheath.

Continue Reading

This HomePod multi-room tip saves waiting for AirPlay 2

This HomePod multi-room tip saves waiting for AirPlay 2

Apple's HomePod sounds great today, and with its upcoming AirPlay 2 update it'll gain multi-room support too, but there's a workaround if you can't wait for the official upgrade. While the Siri-powered speaker is being viewed as a direct Sonos rival, being able to link multiple speakers together and play the same music simultaneously is still a big advantage in Sonos' corner.

Continue Reading

Apple HomePod Review

Apple HomePod Review

Apple's HomePod may be late to the party, but the Siri-powered smart speaker isn't arriving quietly in any sense of the word. HomePod's biggest strength is that, in a segment where ease of use is yet to catch up with functionality, it makes navigating a great-sounding Apple Music experience by voice a joy. How it does that, though, feels like classic Apple at its most demanding.

Continue Reading

Apple HomePod teardown has good news and bad

Apple HomePod teardown has good news and bad

As with all high-profile device launches, it hasn't taken very long for the folks at iFixit to get their hands on the new Apple HomePod and promptly rip the sucker open. There are two goals in doing so, as the teardown gives us a look at the hardware that's inside and also shows us how easy it would be for the end user to repair the product on their own. Unfortunately, those of you who were hoping for a DIY-friendly repair job are about to be disappointed.

Continue Reading

Apple HomePod repairs are very expensive, thankfully cable replacements aren’t

Apple HomePod repairs are very expensive, thankfully cable replacements aren’t

Now that Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is finally available for purchase, details are coming out on the price of out-of-warranty repairs. If you haven't heard yet, they're very expensive: dropping or cosmetic damages not covered by the hardware warranty can cost $279. Fortunately, there's a separate, specific type of repair that can be done for much less.

Continue Reading

1 2 3 4 5 6