HomePod will pass Siri queries beyond music playback to linked iPhone or iPad for processi...

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in iPhone
A delve into the new HomePod firmware, and developer documentation shows that Apple's forthcoming smart speaker will process full Siri queries on a synchronized iPhone or iPad rather than refusing them, or processing them on-device.




Alongside the iOS 11.2 beta and HomePod firmware update, Apple noted that full SiriKit requests, such as those involving contacts, Messaging, Lists, and Notes will be handed off to a connected iPhone or iPad for processing. Looking further at developer documentation, music-related requests look to be handled independently on the device, and won't require handoff to a linked device.

Developers can test app compatibility for voice-only Siri requests by connecting headphones into an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11.2.

Apple's $349 HomePod was revealed at the 2017 WWDC and will ship in December. The HomePod is powered by an Apple A8 chip featuring realtime acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, and multi-channel echo cancelation. It also features a subset of Siri, optimized for music consumption.

Apple has been forthcoming about what the device will be capable of at launch since it was announced at the 2017 WWDC. The developer's notes surrounding iOS 11.2 are the first indication of how the HomePod would handle more conventional Siri requests.

"One of the advantages that we have is that there are a lot of things that Siri knows to do from the cloud," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in an interview shortly after the debut of the device. "We'll start with a batch of those as (marketing chief) Phil (Schiller) showed you today during the keynote, and then you can bet that there's a nice follow-on activity as well."

Earlier firmware examinations suggested that the A8-powered HomePod will boast 1GB of RAM and a 272-by-340 pixel screen, suggesting that rudimentary app support will be possible for the hardware in the future.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    It won't be very good, in other words.
    xzutallest skildisneylandman
  • Reply 2 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    I hope there's some miscommunication or understanding of the findings because if it's not as good as the Echo and Alexa I think that's going to be a problem.
    xzutipoo
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 2,887administrator
    Soli said:
    I hope there's some miscommunication or understanding of the findings because if it's not as good as the Echo and Alexa I think that's going to be a problem.
    Seems pretty clear.

    From Apple, linked in the article: "With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction and can conveniently access iOS apps that support SiriKit Messaging, Lists, and Notes. Siri recognizes SiriKit requests made on HomePod and sends those requests to the user’s iOS device for processing. To prepare your app, make sure that your SiriKit integration is up to date and that you’ve adopted all of the appropriate intents."
  • Reply 4 of 20
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member
    Me: "Siri, Play the song Lola by The Kinks"
    Siri: "I don't understand 'Play the song Lola by The Kinks"

    Me thumbing through my music library to find the song, hit play.....

    With the HomePod... that entire interaction just takes a few milliseconds longer and I have to stay later at work to help pay for the HomePod.


    unbeliever2
  • Reply 5 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,013member
    Ummm...so in other words, for full functionality, you need another device. Like Apple Watch is essentially an iPhone accessory. So too apparently is HomePod. I guess that's not a surprise. Seems like maybe it could go fetch things like messaging, lists, contacts and notes via iCloud though. 

    I'm not buying one, so I guess I don't have any skin in the game. And I'm not a home assistant user (Alexa or Googly) either. YMMV. 
    xzu
  • Reply 6 of 20
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,013member
    xzu said:
    Me: "Siri, Play the song Lola by The Kinks"
    Siri: "I don't understand 'Play the song Lola by The Kinks"

    Me thumbing through my music library to find the song, hit play.....

    With the HomePod... that entire interaction just takes a few milliseconds longer and I have to stay later at work to help pay for the HomePod.


    Well played, sir. Well played.
    xzu
  • Reply 7 of 20
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,404member
    Does anyone know whether HomePod will be able to send and receive voice messages and email, make and answer phone calls, and announce events from Calendar/Reminders? I also wonder whether its spatial recognition capability will allow it to do motion detection? So much we still don't know other than the fact that it's a kickass little speaker.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    dewme said:
    Does anyone know whether HomePod will be able to send and receive voice messages and email, make and answer phone calls, and announce events from Calendar/Reminders? I also wonder whether its spatial recognition capability will allow it to do motion detection? So much we still don't know other than the fact that it's a kickass little speaker.
    All of the above, plus you can take it to bed with you and have it talk dirty to you...
  • Reply 9 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    So this will be like Apple TVs Siri who only cares about movies and actors but for music?

    I remember Tim calling it “musicologist”. 
  • Reply 10 of 20
    For a device that is going to live communally in a house it has to support multiple people well. Apple sucks at multi-user and if they don’t change that with this device its not going to be very useful in many homes.
  • Reply 11 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Pleas fix Siri. Look what response I got just now:


    tipooxzu
  • Reply 12 of 20
    clexmanclexman Posts: 143member
    For a premium $350 device, this is a little disappointing.
    xzu
  • Reply 13 of 20
    cali said:
    So this will be like Apple TVs Siri who only cares about movies and actors but for music?

    I remember Tim calling it “musicologist”. 
    I don't think that is correct. AppleTV can't add events to your calendar, but HomePod can (through Siri), it can do more than just playing music and controlling homekit. However the implementation might be somewhat arguable. Everything music and homekit related are processed through HomePod, everything else is processed through iPhone/iPad. You won't see a native calendar app inside HomePod, and I don't see the use of it either.

    Argumentatively, people buy HomePod for Siri, music and HomeKit (all three are processed through HomePod processor). Think the other features as bonus.

    edited November 2017
  • Reply 14 of 20
    clexman said:
    For a premium $350 device, this is a little disappointing.
    I don't agree. Sonos is as expensive and can do even less.
    xzu
  • Reply 15 of 20
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,678member
    kevin kee said:
    clexman said:
    For a premium $350 device, this is a little disappointing.
    I don't agree. Sonos is as expensive and can do even less.
    What looks to be closest competitor to the HomePod's speaker setup is the Sonos One. It only costs $199 and just today they announced that full Alexa, Spotify, SiriusXM and other integrations will be added the same month the HomePod is suppose to launch and needing a connection to your iDevice.

    If a pair of these or other Songs devices can connect to my TV for audio out so that it works with my Apple TV I'm pretty sure I'll passing on buying a 2 HomePods based on today's information. I find Apple Music to be a disastrous design for sourcing music and creating playlists compared to Spotify, but even if you love Apple Music that's still one of the 50 options for Songs.


    PS: I can't wrap my head around Apple's inability to best Amazon in this space. They had many additional years to develop Siri and had Siri on the market many years before Amazon hit the ground running with their incredible Echo product and Alexa service, a service that has simply gotten better every week… and I literally mean every week because Amazon sends you an email each Friday letting you know about new Skills (what they call3rd-party apps for Alexa) and other commands to try out. These emails are a simple concept that allow the user to check out new commands, improved commands, popular Skills, and even seasonal commands. Out of sight, out of mind plays a big role with voice commands. I'm sure there are plenty of Siri commands that work great now but either I've never heard of them or I tried them when they first launched but it didn't go well so I erased that as a option, so now I'm regulated to just the basic commands that work. How doesn't Apple get this and why do they think that Siri commands should only be touted once a year when they update iOS after throwing a dozens of other features at us to digest?
    edited November 2017 gatorguyxzu
  • Reply 16 of 20
    kevin kee said:
    cali said:
    So this will be like Apple TVs Siri who only cares about movies and actors but for music?

    I remember Tim calling it “musicologist”. 
    I don't think that is correct. AppleTV can't add events to your calendar, but HomePod can (through Siri), it can do more than just playing music and controlling homekit. However the implementation might be somewhat arguable. Everything music and homekit related are processed through HomePod, everything else is processed through iPhone/iPad. You won't see a native calendar app inside HomePod, and I don't see the use of it either.

    Argumentatively, people buy HomePod for Siri, music and HomeKit (all three are processed through HomePod processor). Think the other features as bonus.

    It cannot do any of those features.  Apple cannot call this a ‘smart’ speaker and compete with others if it has to off load everything except for music requests to another device.  Imagine the delay in waiting for that. Siri cannot even create a playlist let alone play the right song you ask it to play.  
    xenochron
  • Reply 17 of 20

    kevin kee said:
    clexman said:
    For a premium $350 device, this is a little disappointing.
    I don't agree. Sonos is as expensive and can do even less.
    The new Sonos has Alexa built in, so now it can do more than the HomePod, and not require it to be tethered to another device to understand 95% of commands.  Also, Sonos can stream music from about 80 sources off the Internet.  HomePod will be restricted to Apple Music and not much else.  So Sonos does a lot more and sounds far better.  
    xzu
  • Reply 18 of 20
    tipootipoo Posts: 879member
    Still concerned with Siri as the primary interaction method for this, when this is how it works. It got all the words right, so it's not just better mics, it just did something random despite it. 


    xzu
  • Reply 19 of 20
    Apple better get its act together with regard to how a family actually works.  First they screwed people over that shared iCloud accounts in IOS 11 since there is no other way to currently share your iCloud Photo Library with your spouse and now they want HomePod tethered to a device and presumably ONE icloud account?  I'm not spending $350 just so ONE person in the house can benefit.  If my wife wants to send a text message or access her playlist she should be able to and so should I and it should be seamless.  At the very least if the request is ambiguous it could ask.

    Same issues with iCloud photos on an Apple TV.  I should be able to access ALL my family accounts photos if given permission.  Homepod appears to be headed down the same path.  Very disappointing.
    joshbish
  • Reply 20 of 20
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 264member
    " Apple noted that full SiriKit requests, such as those involving contacts, Messaging, Lists, and Notes will be handed off to a connected iPhone or iPad for processing." So if my wife and i are listening to music in the morning in the bath as we are getting ready for the day and she says "Siri, remind me to drop the cleaning off after work", then I say Siri "remind me when I get to work to talk to RJ about the recent contract", will this thing be smart enough to know that we have 2 iPhones and two people talking to it in need of our own individual assistance?????
    joshbish
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