Showing posts with label #HomePod. Show all posts

Couple news related to HomePod are summed up below:

Apple on Tuesday announced that it will expand HomePod availability to Canada, France, and Germany on Monday, June 18. At present, the speaker can only be purchased in U.S., U.K., and Australia.



The company has also launched new 11.4 software update for HomePod. The update includes features like AirPlay 2 and HomePod stereo pairing. Not only that, it also enables Siri to speak in French, German, and Canadian English. With the three new additional languages support, the HomePod is now available in six languages.

As we reported earlier this month, Apple may be planning to introduce a Beats-branded product that will offer Siri integration similar to the HomePod, makes more affordable to ordinary users. However, according to Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster, the cost of the Beats speaker will be priced for $250.

Thoughts?

According to Taiwan’s supply chain source (Via Sina), Apple is in talk with MediaTek to launch a cheap version of its HomePod speakers to grab more market share. Statistics show that HomePod sold only 600,000 units in the first quarter of this year, which is a lot worse than Google and Amazon.

The anonymous source claimed that Apple is preparing to announce the cheap version of HomePod. However, it will not be linked to Apple's name. Instead, it will be under the Beats brand. As for price, the low-priced model would cost around $199, which is far cheaper than current HomePod's cost.


The reason behind Google and Amazon smart speakers' well-received sales, in addition to relatively decent technology, but more importantly, these products cost-effective, such as entry-level models Echo Dot, Home Mini are priced for $49, on the contrary, HomePod price up to $349, it is indeed difficult to accept it, so why not make it cheaper?

Would you purchase a HomePod that's priced for only $199?

Image By CNET

Apparently, Apple's HomePod speaker sales weren't so bad after all, as Strategy Analytics suggest that the company has sold an estimated 600,000 units during the first quarter of 2018. The figure allowed it to capture just 6 percent of the global smart speaker market, ranked in 4th place.

According to the chart, Amazon shipped approximately 4 million Echo smart speakers this quarter, with a market share of 43.6%. Meanwhile, Google shipped around 2.4 million Google Home speaker with a market share of 26.5%. Chinese company Alibaba also leads Apple with 700,000 shipments.


However, it should be pointed out that HomePod was only released on February 9th, and it's only available for purchase three countries, so the data can not fully reflect the specific circumstances in Q1  2018. Plus, it does not break down the average sales price. 

Since the HomePod's price is much higher than its competitors' products, it's believed that Apple is developing a cheap version of HomePod, which expected that it will come later this year. In addition, Apple is also accelerating the pace of expansion - Japan and Germany would also join the list of available countries as soon as possible.

Multiple recent reports were saying that HomePod had poor market reception. A new report from KGI's Ming-Chi Kuo seems to agree the matter, he suggests that Apple could sell 2-2.5 million HomePods across all of 2018, with a million of those from first month pent-up demand, so Apple is "mulling" a "low-cost version" of the HomePod that may help sales. Read more to find out details.

Kuo said the HomePod's high price tag "could undermine demand despite excellent sound quality." On the other hand, because Siri provides an "uninspiring user experience" compared to its competitors, and the "underlying concerns" in Apple's development of artificial intelligence, which explains why Apple's HomePod faced lackluster sales.


It's been six years since Apple introduced Siri to the market, which was way ahead of the firm's major competitors. The massive population of iOS and macOS users is also conducive to the promotion of the voice assistant function. However, we note that for most users worldwide, Siri is not a must-have function, and Apple has not yet become a leading brand in the AI voice assistant market. We also note that HomePod has not added support for new languages in the device since launch, suggesting Apple is facing challenges in AI/voice assistant development spanning the globe; this will cap the shipments momentum of HomePod.

Sure, most people not happy with HomePod high cost, Kuo says a low-priced HomePod could provide a somewhat boost to sales. However, the analyst also claimed that Apple needs to improve Siri, support more languages, and make other improvements to dominant smart speaker markets. At present, HomePod was only in English markets.

Latest discovery on the HomePod shows that the speaker may leave white rings on wood surfaces with an oil or wax finish, as reported by both Wirecutter and Pocket-lint, while Apple confirmed the issue with a statement, other users were also shared same problem on their social networks. 

Image Credit Pocket-lint
Apple says that it is not unusual" for a speaker with a silicone base to leave a "mild mark" when placed on certain oiled or waxed surfaces, and it's caused by chemical interactions with treated wood. The company the says the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface, if not, they suggested users to clean the surface with the manufacturer's suggested oiling method.

Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

At present, most HomePod users are not experienced any marking issues on various types of wood surfaces. It's not clear if this is limited to treated wood, or causes damage for the speaker. Just be sure that not placing your HomePod on a surface with an oil or wax finish if possible.

Follows yesterday's official launch, HomePod has now arrived into the hands of customers. Since you might already received your HomePod, we thought it could be helpful to round-up tips and tricks of the speaker, read below to learn more about the device.


How To Rename Your HomePod

Sure you maybe need to rename your HomePod, so you will able to manage it without any confusion. First off, go to the Home app on an iOS device, then tap the Rooms tab at the bottom of the screen, next, you need to long press on your HomePod icon, tap Details in the bottom right, up next tap on HomePod and then enter the new name, and pree Done.

How To Turn Off "Hey Siri" On The HomePod

If you want to have more privacy during the personal conversation, you can choose to turn off “Hey Siri” on your HomePod, in that way audio won't be recorded. To do that, you can say: “Hey Siri, stop listening,” the personal assistant will ask you to confirm, say “Yes.”

How To Disable Your HomePod Listening History

If you do not want other family members to affect your Apple Music recommendations or wish to keep those personalized suggestions shielded, then turn off it. Firstly, launch the Home app on your iPhone or iPad, choose the HomePod icon in the accessories page, tap on Details, and turn OFF the switch next to “Use Listening History”.

How To Disable Personal Requests On HomePods

Siri on your HomePod need to access your messages, notes, and reminders to do things, all these are called Personal Requests. This isn't helpful at all when your kids around as they may use the speaker for something you can't imagine. Luckily, you can disable the feature by going to Home app -location arrow icon - People - tap your profile - turn off Personal Requests button.

How To Use Your HomePod As A Speakerphone For Hands-Free Calling

You can also use your HomePod as a speakerphone to enjoy hands-free calling at its very best, with the HomePod able to serve both a speaker and a microphone for a hands-free conversation. Whenever you accept a call on your iPhone, click on the Audio option in the call interface, when the light on the smart speaker turns green, means it's connected to the audio of your call, to handout call, simply tap the top of HomePod.
How To AirPlay Audio To The HomePod

With AirPlay, you can beam music from your iOS device to your HomePod, for example, you'll able to stream Spotify on this speaker. In order to use the feature, open any music app, access Control Center, long press on the Music widget, tap on the AirPlay icon, and choose the HomePod.

Via MacRumors And iGB, Image Credit Pocket-lint

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.

According to Rene Ritchie's review for HomePod on iMore, which confirmed that any music streamed via HomePod doesn't count toward an Apple Music subscription device streaming limit. In other words, a subscriber with single memberships to Apple Music will be able to ask Siri to play a song on HomePod while listening to music on another iOS Devices or Mac.


We won't have to worry about the speaker taking up similar streaming limits on the Apple Music accounts, and family plans already support simultaneous streaming across multiple devices, so it should work the same for those users as well.  Additionally, HomePod does not count toward the 10 device limit placed on devices associated with an Apple ID.

That includes HomePod not counting against any Apple Music device or concurrent stream limit — set it up one or more HomePods with your iPhone or iPad, leave the house with that device, and anyone who stays or comes home can still listen to Apple Music on any or all the HomePods you've set up.

The HomePods will have another benefit for users, reported by The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, there's a toggle in a section for the speaker in the iOS Home app which will allows user to turn it off to prevent the HomePod's streams from impacting how Apple Music's algorithms recommend new music, so no music streamed via HomePod will count into the subscriber's overall taste profile.

Confirmed by Apple, HomePod will support FullRoom, a feature that will enable a pair of HomePods to automatically detect and balance each other so it creates stereo-like sound following an upcoming software update. FullRoom will be coming soon, follows that is the multi-room audio support via AirPlay 2 which will be available at a later date.

Via MacRumors, Image Credit Macworld

As the public release of HomePod is a step and step closer, we begin to learn more about the smart speaker. According to a report by 9to5Mac which revealed that updates will be available via Apple's dedicated Home app for HomeKit devices.


When a user received a new software update for the HomePod, an alert will tell to install the update directly on the Home app, similar to how an Apple Watch update are installed through the Watch app. HomePod will be listed as an HomeKit device in the Home app.

HomePod users will also have the option to enable automatic updates. These updates can be installed on a single HomePod, all of HomePods in the home or to specific stereo pairs, However, if your HomePods running different versions, stereo pairing will not be available.

It's widely believed that the first update to the HomePod may be iOS 11.3, which expected to bring multi-room audio and support for pairing two or more HomePods together for the stereo sound. AirPlay 2 has been founded in iOS 11.3, which suggesting the feature will be introduced with the update also.

At present, HomePod is available for preorder on Apple.com for $349 in the US. First HomePod orders will be in the hands of customers on the official launch day - February 9. Are you buying this product? Please let us know in the comment below!

Via MacRumors, Image Credit The Apple Post

Apple kicked off pre-orders for HomePod, the company's first wireless speaker with built-in Siri controls last Friday, and three days after the device went live on Apple.com it looks like that the speaker is still widely available for launch day delivery, which suggesting this product at low consumer demand.

While it appears that Apple has enough stock to for-fill orders and keep up with demand, a report even points out that a million HomePods started shipping before pre-orders opened. Polls and social media responses also indicating HomePod’s steep price tag and lateness to the market will deter many potential customers. – HomePod delivers and in-stock pick-ups start on Friday, February 9th.



According to iMore's Serenity Caldwell that a user using the same iCloud account will allow HomePod's Siri access to Apple Music, tracks that were purchased to the iCloud Library and the iTunes Store, but Siri itself can not control the content streamed by other devices over AirPlay. 

Apple has claimed that the HomePod consumes less power than an averages ENERGY STAR certified LED household light bulb during music playback. For comparison, a classic-shaped A-series LED bulb typically draws around 9-10 watts, but the HomePod draws around 8.74 watts with 115V of line voltage during music playback at 50 percent volume.

In addition, the smart speaker also comes with a two-meter power cable in the box that is color matched in Space Gray or White, the cable is removable and user replaceable, as for pricing of the power cable is not known.

Via 9to5Mac And MacRumors, Image Credit The New York Times

Since the HomePod now has finally received a official approval from the FCC, and to given iOS impending 11.2.5’s launch later this week, further more details about the device have continued to trickle out, as first screenshots from iGeneration revealed the setup process for the wireless speaker.

These images visualized the HomePod setup process and reveal some of the settings you’ll be able to adjust through the Home app on an iPhone or iPad. Unlike an Apple Watch, the HomePod will not have a standalone management app, this made a think of it more like a HomeKit accessory.


Some of the more rudimentary settings include the ability to turn on and off HomePod’s LED touch surface, press to speak to Siri, and toggle Siri sound effects, which suggesting HomePod will be highly configurable, with granular settings for speed of voice, pressure sensitivity, and more.

While HomePod will probably support multiple user accounts, and will allow the device to differentiate between a primary voice, only the person whose Apple ID is associated with the speaker will be able to send messages through Siri, although everyone would have the ability to control music.


First announced back to last June, HomePod, was the smart speaker that powered by Siri, aiming to compete with Amazon Alexa and Google Home. It was supposed to be released for everyone in December, but for certain reasons, Apple delayed the product into earlier this year, and now supplier Inventec is said to be now shipping first million units to Apple, soon the accessory will be enter in the market.

It appears that in latest iOS 11.2.5 beta, a developer named Filipe Espósito found some of new HomePod icons in Apple's Home app that reveal some of the new features which may appear on the smart speaker. Specifically, user may be able to create custom scenes with support for muting the speaker’s “Hey Siri” capabilities. 


Like many other Apple devices, HomePod also supports on-call "Hey Siri" functionality that allows users to activate Siri with simple voice commands. However, for certain situations, users may want to disable this feature for privacy reasons. For example, in a "party" scene, when the lights at home may be constantly changing, the room temperature changes, and Siri is muted for the living room HomePod.

In addition to discovering HomePod can mutes Siri, Espósito also found that HomePod will capable supporting multiple unique voices, and suggesting that at least one person could control Siri and expect personalized results.

Apple released the HomePod during last June's WWDC, which was originally scheduled for release in December of 2017, but Apple subsequently delayed shipments, A recent rumor says that 1 million HomePods was being delivered to Apple from its supply chain, At same time, the device approved by FCC, so we should see the product soon.

Via 9to5Mac, Image Credit Twitter

It appears that Apple’s HomePod launch is closer than ever as the smart speaker has now received FCC approval. Since the FCC approval has been obtained, Apple is free to begin selling the devices at any time.

To compare with iPhone X, Apple received FCC approval for the flagship on October 4, just under one month before the device was released to the public on November 3. Plus today's FCC clearance of the HomePod follows a rumor earlier this week that suggested HomePod supplier Inventec has already started shipping HomePod units to Apple, so we expeted to see the product under a month.


The same rumor says that Apple’s suppliers have shipped the first million units, a total of 10-12 million HomePods is expected to be produced this year. Apple originally planned to release the HomePod in December, but the company ended up for additional development time, delaying its debut until 2018.

When it's released, it will be interesting to see if Apple can make HomePod be successful after its delay. With the new competition that has popped up in the past months like the smart Sonos One at $199, the $349 HomePod may be a tough sell or maybe a hit just like AirPods, a wireless earphones when most people question about it.

Via MacRumors And 9to5Mac, Image Credit CNET

According to industry sources speaking with the Taipei Times, Apple supplier Inventec has begun a limited shipment of one million speakers to Apple. The shipment could suggesting that the HomePod should be launching "soon." 

Last fall, it was been reported that Inventec alongside manufacturer Precision would split production evenly. In November, Apple made the decision to push the HomePod’s release into early 2018, stating that they “need a little more time” before the speaker is ready. The Taipei Times cites software tweaks as the primary cause of the delay.


Inventec's revenue from the HomePod is expected to be "limited" this quarter due to the low quantity initial shipment. While as an initial shipment of 1 million units is modest by Apple standards, the report says that HomePod shipments for all of 2018 are expected to grow to between 10 million and 12 million units.

“The Taiwanese company has begun HomePod shipments. However, revenue contribution from the product to Inventec is expected to be limited this quarter, as the initial shipment is not large,” a source in HomePod’s supply chain told the Taipei Times by telephone on condition of anonymity.

HomePod, Apple's first product entry into the smart speaker market, but also a response to Amazon Echo and Google Home, which are the most popular smart speaker. During its unveiling of the product, Apple said that HomePod is more music-focused than its rivals with high-quality sound and microphone technology, spatial awareness, touch controls, and more, all powered by an A8 chip.

Via MacRumors And 9to5Mac, Image Credit MR
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