Feb 9, 2018

Apple Has Officially Launched HomePod, Here Is Everything We Know About The Speaker

Apple has officially launched HomePod, the company's first smart speaker that integrated with great sound quality and Siri. Due to international time differences, that customers in the United Kingdom and Australia is the first and second of Apple’s three launch countries to begin deliveries and in-store pick-ups HomePod, and soon US customers will receive the devices around east coast 8:00 am.

First launched in 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the HomePod is Apple's answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but with more on music and sound quality. The main selling point of the HomePod is the heavily focusing on audio quality, it packed with 7 tweeter array, with each tweeter outfitted with its own driver, and with an Apple-designed 4-inch upward-facing woofer for crisp, clear, distortion-free sound even at loud volumes.

Inside the HomePod there is an A8 chip, making it much more powerful than competing smart speakers. It's equipped with spatial awareness, allowing it to intelligently analyze rooms and adjust accordingly for the best possible sound. Included touch controls at the top of the device allow for simple navigation, and is featured with 1GB of RAM.

HomePod integrates with Apple Music, so you can listening over 45 million songs with the streaming service, and without any streaming limits. It also built-in Siri support, that has an improved understanding of music-related queries and can help users discover the new content, serving as an in-home musicologist, as Apple says.

Of course, Siri can do a lot more beyond music, like provide news updates, play podcasts, offer weather reports, share traffic information, live sports updates, set reminders, send text messages, and more. Siri will also serve as a speakerphone, and users will be able to use handoff to transfer calls from iPhone to HomePod.

Much like an Apple TV or iPad, HomePod will serve as a HomeKit hub, once your HomePod is connected, HomeKit devices can be accessed remotely. Siri commands can also used to control all HomeKit-connected smart devices, positioning HomePod as a centralized home control product.

AppleCare+ for HomePod will cost $39, and a out-of-warranty repair and replacement will cost almost as much as a new HomePod. However, it will also charge $20 for shipping plus tax, which could bring the cost to over $300 which gets close to the new HomePod cost of $349.

HomePod updates will be controlled by the Home app on iOS, much like when you update your Apple Watch with the iPhone Watch app. The smart speaker will work with all devices able to run iOS 11.2.5, with the iOS 11.2.5 update required for using HomePod. AirPlay to the HomePod from an idevices and Mac will require OS X Yosemite/iOS 8 or later version.

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