One Hour With HomePod

Madeline Buxton, writing for Refinery29 after getting an hour of hands-on time with HomePod:

Aesthetic, however, is only a very small part of the puzzle and one you’d expect Apple to excel at. Fortunately, HomePod also delivers where it counts: The sound. When I listened to the speaker next to Google Home Max, the latest Amazon Echo, and Sonos One, the vocals were consistently crisper and clearer on HomePod. The pluck of guitar strings pops, and bass notes have the robust thump-thump you want from them.

Interesting that Apple included Google Home Max in the comparisons. Back at WWDC in June, they only compared it against an Echo and a Sonos.

Regarding the limits of how HomePod works with multiple users:

Secondly, although everyone in your apartment will be able to use the speaker, only the person who sets up HomePod on their iCloud account will be able to send texts, set up reminders, and add notes via voice commands. Google Home and Amazon Echo, meanwhile, can recognize different voices and provide personalized content accordingly. (If you do set up personal notifications on HomePod, these will only be available when you are on the network, so you don’t need to worry about your texts being read aloud at home when you are at work. If you don’t want them read aloud when you’re home, you can go into your HomeKit settings and turn off the notifications.)

I hope (and would expect) that full support for multiple users is on the drawing board, but simply didn’t make the cut for 1.0.

Thursday, 25 January 2018