Apple's HomePod gets FCC approval, hinting at upcoming launch

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 39
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,213member
    vmarks said:

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    This I believe is a large problem. Siri needs to be consistent across the board. Why should I have the learn Siri's limitations on the Mac, and my iPhone, then my AppleTV, and then my AppleWatch, etc. If it works on one, it should work on any Apple device that supports Siri. Otherwise, I think it gets too confusing for the customer (me included)
    SoliRayz2016
  • Reply 22 of 39
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    macxpress said:
    vmarks said:

    Missing December allowed products by Amazon and Google to gain a critical foothold in the smartspeaker market. Apple is prioritizing audio quality over voice functions though, which could help justify the HomePod's $349 pricetag.
    I mentioned this in another thread, sorry for the repeat.

    I seem to remember when HomePod was first announced there was talk of Siri having a limited functionality on it, like it would only support some music and HomeKit commands.  But on apple.com it says this on the HomePod page:

    ”Because it has Siri, HomePod can hear and answer questions in the most popular categories. Timers. Clocks. Measurements. Translations. News. Sports. Weather. Traffic. And general knowledge. It’s great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home.”

    That doesn’t seem as limited as we were led to believe. Or am I missing something? 

    (I suppose the limitations could be in the form of no personal stuff, like setting reminders and no functions it won’t support like making phone calls)
    One of the difficulties is that we know Siri has different limitations on different devices. Siri on Mac can't talk to HomeKit. Siri on AppleTV can't do... things out side of media search. Siri in CarPlay has limitations for safety in the car. It's frustrating bumping up against these limitations. We don't know what limits HomePod does have, or how well it works.

    This I believe is a large problem. Siri needs to be consistent across the board. Why should I have the learn Siri's limitations on the Mac, and my iPhone, then my AppleTV, and then my AppleWatch, etc. If it works on one, it should work on any Apple device that supports Siri. Otherwise, I think it gets too confusing for the customer (me included)
    It is a mess. I think I tried to do a reminder on my Mac and it said t couldn’t do it, despite there being a Reminders app. (Not 100% sue that was the request I made, but it was something in vein.)

    Where you can have differences is when the I/O is vastly different, like how several of Amazon’s Echo products have cameras and/or a display for presenting data in a different way. Siri on the iPhone can have you go to a Wikipedia link or show you an equation or scale for some calculation, but that won’t fly with HomePod.
  • Reply 23 of 39
    I really wish Siri was better at understanding dictation. I just tried to dictate several long paragraphs because I thought it would be faster than writing, but I had to go back and make so many edits; I wonder if typing would have been easier?!

    I do love to dictate my imessages to my watch, pity there's no way to edit any dictation mistakes, I have to decide whether to trashcan the whole message or send it with mistakes. (I often just send the mistakes unless they're so extreme the whole meaning is lost).
  • Reply 24 of 39
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,003member
    I'm on the fence about HomePod until I see what it really offers beyond being just another speaker for streaming music and podcasts. I already have a half dozen Bluetooth speakers and an equal number of good headphones, three AppleTVs with one connected to a receiver and excellent home theatre speaker system. I've been dabbling with an Echo Dot connected to a speaker. So what does HomePod get me? Maybe it just means I don't need to have any iDevice (including Apple Watch) with me when I'm making dinner and listening to music or podcasts streamed to a Bluetooth speaker in the kitchen. If I throw a HomePod into the mix the additional value-add is a bit difficult to see if all it does is function as a speaker. I can easily envision many many compelling use cases for the HomePod if it functions as a touchpoint or edge device for an Ambient Intelligence fabric but I'm not sure that Apple is even going after that application space with HomePod.  Wait and see.
  • Reply 25 of 39
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,228member
    I suspect the HomePod will be an object lesson in marketing classes on both why you should be careful when positioning a product and how poor timing can stuff up product launches.

    I suspect it’s another Cube.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 26 of 39
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,558member
    If these had been available for Christmas it would have maybe decreased Echo sales by 10% or so. In the long run this delay won’t be a difference maker. I do wonder what was added at the 11th hour to case the delay though. 
    My guess: HomePod relies on AirPlay 2 which isn't ready yet. From all accounts, it will be ready for iOS 11.3.  So when iOS 11.3 is released, that's when HomePod will go on sale.
    randominternetpersonlukei
  • Reply 27 of 39
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 2,558member
    entropys said:
    I suspect the HomePod will be an object lesson in marketing classes on both why you should be careful when positioning a product and how poor timing can stuff up product launches.

    I suspect it’s another Cube.
    If anything the current Mac Pro is the "Cube".  HomePod is an entirely different class of device.
  • Reply 28 of 39
    The fcc website shows that there’s a short-term release date of 7/17/2018 even though it can be Released before the date they listed and also that’s not early 2018 if that’s the real release date.
  • Reply 29 of 39
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member

    [image]

    The fcc website shows that there’s a short-term release date of 7/17/2018 even though it can be Released before the date they listed and also that’s not early 2018 if that’s the real release date.
    Nice fine, and that's clearly more than 45 days past of the grant. It's also a Tuesday, which is a common launch for Apple, save for iPhones which get Friday releases.


    PS: Why can't the US get onboard with with day-month-year, simply for the sake of it being logical?
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 30 of 39
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,003member
    The negative gyrations about the HomePod release date are just silly. It's not like anyone at all has a hard drop dead date by which they must have a HomePod or else ... what? The product will live or die based on its merits and utility once it is available for sale. If you think you're "punishing" Apple for moving the launch date further out by purchasing another brand product - good luck with that flip phone flavored fantasy. 
  • Reply 31 of 39
    Soli said:

    [image]

    The fcc website shows that there’s a short-term release date of 7/17/2018 even though it can be Released before the date they listed and also that’s not early 2018 if that’s the real release date.
    Nice fine, and that's clearly more than 45 days past of the grant. It's also a Tuesday, which is a common launch for Apple, save for iPhones which get Friday releases.


    PS: Why can't the US get onboard with with day-month-year, simply for the sake of it being logical?
    That date is the "confidentiality release date" not the "confidential release date."  In theory it couple be a date well after the release date (I assume, linguistically). 

    I can think of 300 million reasons why the US doesn't change the way dates are displayed (and millions and millions of pieces of hardware and software that couldn't handle the change).  It'll never happen--even though it is problematic and the rest of the world has a more logical format.
  • Reply 32 of 39
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    Soli said:

    [image]

    The fcc website shows that there’s a short-term release date of 7/17/2018 even though it can be Released before the date they listed and also that’s not early 2018 if that’s the real release date.
    Nice fine, and that's clearly more than 45 days past of the grant. It's also a Tuesday, which is a common launch for Apple, save for iPhones which get Friday releases.


    PS: Why can't the US get onboard with with day-month-year, simply for the sake of it being logical?
    That date is the "confidentiality release date" not the "confidential release date."  In theory it couple be a date well after the release date (I assume, linguistically). 

    I can think of 300 million reasons why the US doesn't change the way dates are displayed (and millions and millions of pieces of hardware and software that couldn't handle the change).  It'll never happen--even though it is problematic and the rest of the world has a more logical format.
    1) Apple do release new product categories at very different times so anything is possible. Personally, I hope they don't wait to re-announce and release it in the Fall when people are typically wanting new iPhones. I feel this affects both the impact and total sales of devices as you only can focus so many new devices and features at a time, and because people may be willing to spend $700 on 2 HomePods, or $1000 on a new iPhone, or $800 on a new iPad, or $2500 on a new Mac in a year, but if you pile them all onto of each other most people psychologically aren't willing to pay $5000 within just a few weeks on new Apple gear (even if they can afford it).

    Then you have another psychological issue of people not wanting to buy, say, a 6 month old iPhone knowing that a new one is likely coming soon. Of course, there are legitimate reasons from Apple's perspective as to why this behooves them. Logistics with component sources and manufacturing, the holiday season, and the synergy of how networked devices work together in this modern era and their impressive lateral development product development (e.g.: iOS and tvOS)


    2) 300 million reasons? You mean the people too lazy and afraid of change to want to know understand what's creating the shadows on the cave walls? As for software, it already does dates by year, month, day, (week), hour, minute, second, nanoseconds; and probably even more precise as needed. The order is still correct where the month is between the smaller value (day of the month) and the larger value (year), but are in an order that is easier for systems to change the values that will change first without affecting the order in which files are stored. And more in-depth, POSIX or epoch time as defined as the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 (GMT/UTC) on 1 January 1970. I'd love for the US to finally adopt the metric system but if we can't even write our dates in logic order then what hope is there for that?
  • Reply 33 of 39
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,656member
    Seems odd to me that Apple is entering the audiophile market and abandoning the wifi base station business. The only explanation that make sense to me is margins. 

    I've given up on Siri. Even the simplest stuff gets incomprehensible responses.
  • Reply 34 of 39
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,205member
    eightzero said:
    Seems odd to me that Apple is entering the audiophile market and abandoning the wifi base station business. The only explanation that make sense to me is margins. 

    I've given up on Siri. Even the simplest stuff gets incomprehensible responses.
    Since when Apple has been in the audiophile market?   Because I haven't seen any high end speakers or headphones from them.  



    mike1
  • Reply 35 of 39
    foggyhill said:
    Siri is mediocre. Period. Apple has to seriously get going here.

    At least though you can use Siri well on the watch where somehow it gets its highest utility by far, much better than assistants on damn speakers which always seem like a much better idea than it really is (that's why I'm mostly buying the Homepod for the music aspect and integration with rest of ecosystem).

     


    Funnily enough, Siri on the Apple Watch somehow always seems more responsive and easier to use than on the iPhone. I completely agree that it's usage on the Watch is probably the highest by far.

  • Reply 36 of 39
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,032member
    foggyhill said:
    Siri is mediocre. Period. Apple has to seriously get going here.

    At least though you can use Siri well on the watch where somehow it gets its highest utility by far, much better than assistants on damn speakers which always seem like a much better idea than it really is (that's why I'm mostly buying the Homepod for the music aspect and integration with rest of ecosystem).

    Funnily enough, Siri on the Apple Watch somehow always seems more responsive and easier to use than on the iPhone. I completely agree that it's usage on the Watch is probably the highest by far.

    I agree, which is odd since it uses the same internet connection, but with the added step of being packaged and pushed via BT to the iPhone to be sent to Apple's Siri servers, and it seems unlikely that the microphone on the Watch is better than on the iPhone or attached headphones with a mic. I believe Apple has said that it's no different, but anecdotal experiences seem to overwhelmingly be in favor of Siri on Watch being better.
    edited January 2018
  • Reply 37 of 39
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Soli said:
    foggyhill said:
    Siri is mediocre. Period. Apple has to seriously get going here.

    At least though you can use Siri well on the watch where somehow it gets its highest utility by far, much better than assistants on damn speakers which always seem like a much better idea than it really is (that's why I'm mostly buying the Homepod for the music aspect and integration with rest of ecosystem).

    Funnily enough, Siri on the Apple Watch somehow always seems more responsive and easier to use than on the iPhone. I completely agree that it's usage on the Watch is probably the highest by far.

    I agree, which is odd since it uses the same internet connection, but with the added step of being packaged and pushed via BT to the iPhone to be sent to Apple's Siri servers, and it seems unlikely that the microphone on the Watch is better than on the iPhone or attached headphones with a mic. I believe Apple has said that it's no different, but anecdotal experiences seem to overwhelmingly be in favor of Siri on Watch being better.
    I think that the main failing of Siri is the microphone aspect (it needs to get good sounds to actually get the words) and also the use case for Siri is just better on the watch. Talking loudly accross a room (if say you have other people or other sounds going) to get something done seems idiotic no matter what the assistant is.

    Seems better for something you interact tightly with  like wearable. If the mike was in fact always on you like the Airpods (instead of relying on some god forsaken far away mike) you would also not bother everyone with your commands.

    In recording Audio (film, vlog, etc), the rule is keep your mike within 3 feet of the person's mouth (and that's with trying to minimize stray sounds cause you are recording); having to get the voice of someone who is not really aiming to picked up (contrary to an actor) at the other end of a room is just idiotic and asking for a poor pickup and a high annoyance factor.

    Anyway, that's how I see it. The Airpods, Watch or any wearable that's close to the mouth as interacting with Siri.

    edited January 2018
  • Reply 38 of 39
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,838member
    eightzero said:
    Seems odd to me that Apple is entering the audiophile market and abandoning the wifi base station business. The only explanation that make sense to me is margins. 

    I've given up on Siri. Even the simplest stuff gets incomprehensible responses.
    Not audiophile by far. Better than most of the crap that's out there, but certainly not audiophile.
  • Reply 39 of 39
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 411member
    mike1 said:
    eightzero said:
    Seems odd to me that Apple is entering the audiophile market and abandoning the wifi base station business. The only explanation that make sense to me is margins. 

    I've given up on Siri. Even the simplest stuff gets incomprehensible responses.
    Not audiophile by far. Better than most of the crap that's out there, but certainly not audiophile.
    Since the whole HomePod was started by an audiophile group inside Apple, some people call it audiophile stuff. That's where that comes from.
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