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HomePod, Yay or Nay?

February 2, 2018

A number of people have asked me about the HomePod, which is often a good sign that it's going to be popular. The biggest question is, of course, "Should I get one?" My answer is, as always, "Maybe!"

 

The HomePod, in case you don't know, is Apple's newest gizmo which is competing in the same space as the Alexa and Echo, as well as Sonos. It's a digital assistant, since it has Siri built in, but it's also an amazing speaker that you can wirelessly play music through (although it does need to be plugged into power) .

 

As digital assistants go, unfortunately Siri is kind of a mess. A few days ago I asked her if it was going to snow this week. She confidently told me no, while displaying a weather forecast that clearly showed snow. I then asked her what the high was going to be this week, and she said 48 degrees, but again what she showed me was a forecast with a high of almost 60. I've learned how to communicate with her and most of the time I can get her to do what I ask, but let's just say if we were in a relationship my Facebook profile would say "It's complicated."

 

Where the HomePod does shine, however, is how good it sounds. Pretty much everyone who has heard one says it's the best speaker of its kind on the market, soundly beating anything in the price range including Sonos, which costs quite a bit more and doesn't have a digital assistant at all. It will analyze whatever room you set it up in to give you the best sound for the space, and uses some really amazing technology to do it. 

 

The current software won't allow you to pair more than one HomePod up for stereo, but that's supposedly going to be coming very soon with a free software update. 

 

So do you want a HomePod? Well, if you don't really care about how useful Siri is, but you want a small speaker that you can easily play music to that sounds amazing, then we think it's a good fit.

 

I am confident that Apple is working on making Siri much more useful than she currently is, but I doubt we'll see any major changes on that front until the fall at the earliest (here's where I insert a friendly reminder that I don't have access to any inside information from Apple, and it's all just based on many years of experience with how they tend to do things).

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