One of the most anticlimactic tech developments of the year happened yesterday at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference where the company announced its much rumored Siri-enabled competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.
The Apple HomePod is the device we'll be talking about for months – the newest model in the voice command sweepstakes. I thought rather than speculating about the details, I'd go right to the source.
Siri is omniscient, wise, and has the scoop on HomePod, so here's what you need to know:
Me: “Hey Siri, when does HomePod come out and what will it cost?
Siri: “HomePod will be on sale in December, an admittedly odd time of the year for a new product release. It will retail for $349.”
Me: “Hey Siri, wow – that's expensive. More than twice the price of the Echo. What's the deal?”
Siri: “HomePod is so much more. It will combine the best of Sonos and Amazon in order to deliver what my bosses are calling a ‘breakthrough home speaker.'”
Me: “Hey Siri, early rumors have touted HomePod's speaker system. What's under the hood?”
Siri: “The operative phrase is ‘Rock the house.' HomePod has a 7 tweeter array, along with a 4 inch woofer. Nothing tinny or AM radio-ish about this device.”
Me: “Ouch. How big is HomePod?”
Siri: “You didn't say ‘Hey Siri.'”
Me: “Sorry. Hey Siri, how big is HomePod?”
Siri: “It's just a skosh below 7″ in height.”
Me: “Hey Siri, what about colors?”
Siri: “HomePod comes in two colors – white and space grey ((pictured above).”
Me: “Hey Siri, and what's the coolest music feature in HomePod?”
Siri: “It's Pandora and then some. HomePod will give you access to Apple Music's 40 million songs featuring more than two million artists. It learns your preferences and can help you pick and discover songs.
Me: “The Echo and Google Home provide all kind of info. What are some of the features that HomePod offers?”
Siri: “Nothing gets past me. You'll have access to timers, clocks, translations, news, sports, weather, traffic, and general knowledge. And I'll help you control the lights, the shades, and other functions via HomeKit.”
Me: “Hey Siri, what about privacy? That's becoming a big issue.”
Siri: “No worries. HomePod only starts listening when you say ‘Hey Siri.' Then I'll hear whatever you say, even if the music is blaring, thanks to the devices' 6 built-in microphones.”
Me: “Hey Siri, will HomePod have a built-in FM chip…and will Apple activate it?”
Siri: “I'm not sure I understand.”
Me: “Hey Siri, what took Apple so long to develop its smart speaker?”
Siri: “We weren't first with the mp3 players, but the iPod came along and redefined the music biz. And remember the Crackberry? Other companies developed smartphones before the iPhone, but we've done pretty well in the space, and ended up creating the app economy.”
Me: “Hey Siri, so should Amazon and Google be worried?”
Siri: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
You can check out Apple's HomePod here.
And finally, a number of similar observations on Twitter to this one:
— Raz (@raztweets) June 5, 2017
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