What About The Apple HomePod?

You may have heard about the Apple HomePod, since it is popping up all over the place the last few days (it just launched). So what is it exactly, and what does it do?

The HomePod is similar to Google Home and other products of that kind; it's a "smart" speaker that you can talk to and have it play music, answer questions like "what is the weather today?", and control some "smart home" devices (turning lamps on and off, etc).

Apple is positioning the new (and somewhat overdue) product as more of a quality speaker system than a home AI assistant, even though it is controlled by Siri, Apple's voice interface. Just realize that the Amazon Echo has been out for over three years now.

Based upon various reports, here are the basics:

1 - the Apple HomePod currently retails at $350 in the US

2 - you will need an iPhone or iPad to set it up

3 - you can currently only control music from Apple Music

4 - no BlueTooth connectivity

5 - no multiple user accounts 

6 - interfaces with Apple's HomeKit devices

Apparently, the sound quality is really good for a relatively small device - not the best thing ever, but very good. It it not a stereo device, nor can it currently be cajoled or corralled into being a stereo device even if you have another HomePod laying around to use with it.

It's designed to fill a space with sound, and has lots of whiz-bang hardware and software to allow it to do that - and do it rather well. Remember too, that some of the perceived shortcomings mentioned in the reviews below may be fixable via software updates as time goes on.

Here are some YouTube reviews (most are pretty short) giving a sense of what to expect:

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