How to Use Spotify on a HomePod

Magical then and now

Magical then and now

Commands such as "Hey Siri, what's the weather like in New York City?" and "Hey Siri, play Kanye West" work without a hitch. "I think it's between Google and Amazon".

After failing to capitalize on the lead it had on voice assistants by launching Siri back in 2011, Apple appears to have missed a big opportunity with Siri yet again with HomePod.

Furthermore, the HomePod is strictly compatible with other Apple products only. "It's got better separation and bass response than anything else in its size and boasts a nuance and subtlety of sound that pays off the 7 years Apple has been working on it", said TechCrunch's Matthew Panzarino. But it's only of use to people who buy all their technology from Apple. You can't use it as a traditional Bluetooth speaker. I found that when music was at a high volume, HomePod generally heard my "Hey Siri" voice commands from across the room, a good thing. It is designed it so that you can circle it and still enjoy 360 degrees of sound no matter where you are in the room. Here are five lessons from my test lab.

The Sonos One wireless speaker, priced at $199, will be available October 24.

The HomePod comes in two colors - white and space gray - and features a high-excursion woofer with a custom amplifier. But then, with a price tag of £319 (versus £75 for the Echo and less for the Echo Dot), it should.

The Sonos One doesn't sound as good as HomePod either.

For the rest, results were mixed. With many speakers and sound systems, there is a zone of perfection. Two years isn't a lot of time, particularly for a product that likely has a lifespan of twice that, if not much more.

Siri does best at music: It can summon songs, make playlists ("play 80s party music"), and offer factoids about songs. Alas, it had no idea what to make of the request, "Play my favorite song". Nor can Siri identify your voice as opposed to another family member's voice, something the other assistants can do. "Alexa and Google Assistant do have more features, for now, and they are definitely more advanced in their functionality". It can't even set more than one simultaneous timer. At times, not only did HomePod respond, but so did Siri on my nearby iPhone. I know Apple has some of the most dedicated customers in the world, but I can't recommend this.

If you're building a smart home, the HomePod can control lights, thermostats and locks. Amazon and Google's options work with both Android and Apple.

For one, Siri is just not smart enough to compete with Amazon's Alexa or Google's Home assistant, creating frustrations for reviewers. But it is better about privacy in other ways.

Does Apple Have What it Takes to Compete in Smart Speaker Market?

But sometimes you just want to turn them off. Siri can't help you with that. So you're not so much repairing it as getting a small discount on a new one. But there are many more restrictions to using HomePod as a home assistant, including its inability to distinguish different voices, meaning anyone can ask the HomePod to read or send text messages on behalf of the HomePod owner if the owner said yes to all the setup prompts, according to the Verge.

4, You can't make two HomePods into a stereo pair or fill multiple rooms with music - yet.

But Sonos didn't just call the Homepod "Fruit Machine".

Same goes for the ability to have your music follow you from one room to the next. The HomePod's Siri makes the iPhone's Siri look like a genius.

The audio quality between the two is very close, though I'd give a slight edge to Apple. Why not let it let the HomePod be the speaker for whatever show or movie you're playing?

Apple's Audio Lab, where the HomePod was developed.

About 20 percent of the time I call out to the HomePod, the Siri on my Apple Watch or iPhone answers instead.

"By balanced, I mean evenly distributed quality sound". Apple says software updates should have fixed this and it is looking into my continuing problem. But more often the bug is annoying - and surprising from Apple, which charges a premium for polish.

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