As were the rumors suggesting, Apple was going to launch a Wi-Fi speaker and the company did that at the WWDC 2017 keynote. Named as the Apple HomePod, the speakers are a competition to the Sonos PLAY:3, Amazon Echo, and the Google Home speakers. Each of them differs with the core functionality but they are meant to serve the same purpose.
Apple explains it as “Apple-Designed Home Music Speaker with Amazing Sound Quality and Intelligence”. Let’s check it out more and see what the HomePad is all about and even though we might get to know more in the coming time since it scheduled to be officially available by December 2017, here are a few things to know about it.
The HomePod features Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings.
The Apple HomePod is going to be made available initially in Australia, the UK and the US, and that will be in December 2017.
What can HomePod do?
Play music from Apple Music, to begin with. But thanks to a smarter Siri integrated into this speaker, you can send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene.
Furthermore, there is some automation possible as well when you are not at home. It also provides remote access and home automation through the Home App that will work on iPhone and iPad.
What powers the HomePod speakers?
Apple-designed A8 chip is what powers these speakers for a good performance and being innovative with the audio functionality.
Two in one room
There are only a few such smart speakers currently that adjust the sound output based on their presence and the number of speakers in the same room. If you have two HomePods in the same room, the two automatically detect and balance each other.
Does it work only with your voice?
While Siri would respond well to your voice commands, the control is not only with it. The top of HomePod is a touch-responsive area where you can play, pause, or adjust the volume. Whenever Siri is listening, the area will let you know with the LED lights forming waves for every word you speak.
It connects through 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO and if there are multiple HomePods, they can be connected through AirPlay 2.
How big is it?
The dimensions of the Apple HomePod are 6.8 inches in height and 5.6 inches in width. Not a very big one but it is good enough to keep all the internals packed in the size and for that size, the HomePod is quite heavy with the 2.5kg weight.
The pricing of HomePod
HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray. That is the only market where pricing is already known.