Apple Homepod Launched at WWDC 2017: Sepcifications and Features – A complete review

Apple kicked off their annual WWDC event yesterday, with the HomePod. The company, at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 , was expected to come out with many new innovations when it came to their software and hardware divisions, and Apple lived up to all expectations. The company, which was going on a bit of a lull of late, suddenly burst into the scene and came out with the new iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. A couple of hardware devices were also announced. However, the biggest surprise of the night was perhaps the announcement of the Apple Homepod.

Apple, which is without the shadow of a doubt, one of the biggest names in the markets, has finally come out with a smart speaker. Expectations about Apple launching such a device had been around since quite a while. And here it was. Apple’s first ever smart speaker was unveiled at the WWDC 2017.

Over the years we have seen Amazon Echo, and its various variants such as the Echo Dot and Echo Tap. Then there was the recently released Amazon Echo Show. Google too, introduced the Google Assistant last year, and it has since been adding more and more features to that. How could Apple be left behind amid all this! The company, less than a year after Google’s announcement of Google Home, has now launched the Apple Homepod.

Apple Homepod:  Internal Specifications of the Apple Smart Speaker.

Tim Cook took the stage at the WWDC to announce that ‘We want to reinvent home music’. Apple wants you to remember that this might be a smart speaker, it might come with Siri and perform various intelligent tasks, but at the end of the day, it is a speaker and it gives you the best experience of listening to music.

This smart speaker from Apple comes out as the most luxurious smart speaker in the markets. Being an Apple product, the device is crafted to perfection by the masters of innovation.  The Apple Smart Speaker, Apple Homepod supports Siri. You could simply say the magical words – ‘Hey Siri’, and the speaker would come to life.

Let us take a look into the internal specifications of the Apple Homepod. It comes out into the markets with seven tweeters built inside it. And no, tweeters do not mean people who tweet frequnetly. Do not worry Apple is not packing actual people inside your speaker!  Tweeters are actually loudspeakers which are designed specifically to produce higher frequencies of audio. Basically, thanks to these tweeters, the sound that you hear on your Apple Homepod would be as clear and detailed as possible.

The Apple Homepod comes with a custom-made, 4 inched woofer inside. The device is powered by an A8 chip from Apple. While we talked about how Apple wants the Homepod to be a good speaker, the company has ensured of features such as multi-channel echo cancellation and real time acoustic modelling – this is the ultimate smart-speaker experience which can be appreciated by regular users who want to use the homepod for ‘smart’ things, or for the audiophiles who just want to enjoy their music.  

Best of both worlds

Phil Schiller takes the stage, stating that while Sonos makes the best speakers, they aren’t smart speakers, and while Amazon Echo is a smart speaker, it isn’t the best speaker. Apple wants to give to you the best of both worlds. Apple’s speaker is a ‘smart’ speaker as it can scan the space around where it is placed to optimize the audio accordingly. Phil Schiller, at the WWDC 2017 took quite some time to detail out these small aspects of the device which make it a musical marvel.

The Apple Homepod works with Apple Music too. You can simply name a song and ask Siri to play it. You can also ask it to play songs similar to that song. There’s much more than just music that makes the Apple Homepod smart. You can ask the homepod about the weather, the traffic details, scores of the latest sports matches, the headlines of the day, and much more. Users will also be able to send text messages to each other with the help of their Homepods.

For those users who own homekit enabled devices, the Apple Homepod can control their connected eletric appliances. Users can now switch their lights on or off, adjust the temperature of their room, open or close their garage doors – all of this with the help of this pill shaped speaker!

Apple, during the WWDC 2017, also announced Airplay 2 – this now allows the users to pair multiple speakers and play music across multiple rooms. This was a well planned move. This means that users can now buy multiple Homepods and have them connected with each other – this would be quite a delight when it comes to house parties. Many users may buy multiple speakers for connecting them and using it at home.

Apple Homepod: Pricing and Availability Details

With Apple now entering the smart speakers market, there was never a question of them coming with a product that would be competitively priced. Apple has always believed in premium pricing and the Apple Homepod too, comes out into the markets at a premium price point.  The Apple Homepod comes out into the markets at a price of $349 in the US. As of now no details on international pricing have been revealed.

The Amazon Echo comes out at a price of $180. The most expensive variant, the recently released Echo show is priced in at $230. They also have the Echo Tap and Echo Dot which are much cheaper. Their primary rival up until now, Google Home comes out into the markets at a price of $129. The Apple Homepod is priced in at a cost greater than the Amazon Echo and Google Home put together. However, the pricing strategy is nothing new. Apple products have always been premium priced.

The launch of the device would take place in December of this year. The timing is just perfect – as the holiday season peaks during the Christmas time. You already know what the hottest gift of this season is going to be! As of now there’s no word on international availability.  

 

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