HomePod at launch lacks stereo linking and multiple-room support, features coming 'later t...

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Apple's HomePod may be shipping in the beginning of February, but multiple-room audio support and stereo sound between two HomePods will be absent at launch.




The features were spoken of during the tease of the HomePod at the 2017 WWDC. At the time, Apple said that it could be paired with another unit to deliver a wide stereo experience.

AppleInsider was able to use the HomePod during the 2017 WWDC, and was able to listen to a pair of HomePods paired for stereo. It is unclear why the feature is not included with the release of the device.

Multiple-room support appears to be a function of AirPlay 2 -- so why it is not included with the HomePod isn't clear, unless Apple is expecting more delays in releasing the technology to users in iOS and macOS.

Apple notes that both features are coming "this year" in a software update. An update to which platform, be it the HomePod, iOS, macOS, or all three to enable the features wasn't made clear.

Also not clear is launch support for languages beyond English. Siri already has support for many languages, including French and German -- languages in countries next on tap for HomePod availability.

With a Mac Pro-like cylindrical design, the HomePod is under 7 inches tall in a 3D mesh acoustic fabric. In addition to the A8 chip, it has 7 tweeters and a dynamic modeling subwoofer.

As previously announced, the HomePod retails for $349 in white and space gray in the US, UK and Australia. It will be available in France and Germany later in the spring. The HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) with iOS 11.2.5 or later.
«13456

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 101
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,854member
    Idea: can you ask Apple to ship you one, and promise you'll pay for it "later this year" when the promised features appear?
    dws-2larryadacharjasenj1xzutechnoanantksundaramrepressthisaminorsixthcrabby
  • Reply 2 of 101
    Apple using the existing playbook to revolutionize new space: exquisite hardware with software-upgradeable features. Based on reviews, for hardware alone this should be the top choice. The problem they have is they're running an uphill race with several competitors already way ahead. If early adopters have a competitor's [whatever categories this is] they'll be less likely to get this.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 101
    Weird - the stereo separation issue has echoes of the W1 syncing issue for AirPods - harder than it looks to solve. And, in the case of HomePod, the distance between the units is variable (whereas AirPods are always the same distance from the applicable ear). For other thoughts (really just questions, no answers) on HomePod's release and features, see here: http://q10a1.blogspot.com/2018/01/lots-of-homepod-questions.html
    racerhomie3williamlondonrandominternetpersonrepressthisivanhdysamoria
  • Reply 4 of 101
    Sonos, Amazon and Google will be drinking today from the tears of disappointed users who thought they were waiting for Apple to get it right.

    Now...let's sit back and wait for our fellow AI readers to spin this into a tale of suspense, intrigue and to justify why $350 spent is somehow better than $100.

    And...GO!
    edited January 23 larryaavon b7repressthisaknabiivanhboxcatcherdysamoria
  • Reply 5 of 101
    WTF? Apple these days are just rolling out products without clear strategy, or this over-engineered mess.
    anantksundaramwilliamlondonivanhdysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 101
    Sharing music libraries is going to be wacky.

    Apple's version 1 answer to this has already shipped with AppleTV. My entire "For You" section is an amalgamation of the two of us who live in the house and use the AppleTV to play music because there are no separate profiles. Wacky, indeed.

    And to your other questions:

    Yes, anyone can destroy my playlists.

    Yes, anyone can add anything to my library or love a song that comes on in the living room.

    And age restrictions are set per my profile.

    I think the only way around this—for someone who wants more control over what happens in their home—would be to set another profile up on an Apple Music Family plan and use that only for shared listening.

    Unless Apple allows you to switch between profiles next week, but I'd be highly skeptical or else we'd have seen this coming for AppleTV, too.

    edited January 23
  • Reply 7 of 101
    gustavgustav Posts: 816member
    vonbrick said:
    Sonos, Amazon and Google will be drinking today from the tears of disappointed users who thought they were waiting for Apple to get it right.

    Now...let's sit back and wait for our fellow AI readers to spin this into a tale of suspense, intrigue and to justify why $350 spent is somehow better than $100.

    And...GO!
    While the proof of the pudding is in the eating, even a cursory read about the internals of the HomePod vs that of the competition should lead one to expect that the HomePod will sound much better.
    bb-15boltsfan17StrangeDayswilliamlondonschlackjahbladelolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 101
    larryalarrya Posts: 461member
    gustav said:
    vonbrick said:
    Sonos, Amazon and Google will be drinking today from the tears of disappointed users who thought they were waiting for Apple to get it right.

    Now...let's sit back and wait for our fellow AI readers to spin this into a tale of suspense, intrigue and to justify why $350 spent is somehow better than $100.

    And...GO!
    While the proof of the pudding is in the eating, even a cursory read about the internals of the HomePod vs that of the competition should lead one to expect that the HomePod will sound much better.
    I anxiously await the double-blind study. Everything else is marketing hype. 
    Scot1anantksundaramdysamoria
  • Reply 9 of 101
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 181member
    I think we can all agree that this is building up to be the type of release that we usually hang other companies on the cross for. 
    anantksundaramwilliamlondondysamoria
  • Reply 10 of 101
    dachardachar Posts: 322member
    If true this does not look good for Apple. Hopefully they will sort out any issues sooner rather than later
  • Reply 11 of 101
    The HomePod video showing the glowing, color shifting dot on the top of the unit makes me think there really is a Apple Watch type display under the lid. The animations I see seem too complex to be created by just a few RGB LEDs. Are we being purposely mislead into thinking it's really just a light-show gimmick? If so, I'm wondering what surprises lie under the hood for future software updates.
    williamlondonrepressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 101
    vonbrick said:
    Sonos, Amazon and Google will be drinking today from the tears of disappointed users who thought they were waiting for Apple to get it right.

    Now...let's sit back and wait for our fellow AI readers to spin this into a tale of suspense, intrigue and to justify why $350 spent is somehow better than $100.

    And...GO!
    Because they won’t sound like shit? It’s a shelf speaker first, gimmicky voice assistant second. 
    lolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 101
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,179member
    Mmmm. I dunno. 

    I would’ve held off until it was absolutely ready.

    I mean they’ve already missed Christmas so why rush it?
    kingofsomewherehotgatorguyrepressthislolliverdysamoria
  • Reply 14 of 101
    Another half-assed Apple product that they couldn’t get right on launch.  Apple is beginning to look more and more like a company that with the hundreds of thousands of employees they have can’t work on more than one product at a time, get new products out on time, and then throws them at the public at a premium price in an unfinished state.  Time for Tim Cook to go. He had his chance, now turn the company over to someone who understands the marketplace. 
    anantksundaramwilliamlondonivanhdysamoria
  • Reply 15 of 101
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 1,854member
    larrya said:
    gustav said:
    vonbrick said:
    Sonos, Amazon and Google will be drinking today from the tears of disappointed users who thought they were waiting for Apple to get it right.

    Now...let's sit back and wait for our fellow AI readers to spin this into a tale of suspense, intrigue and to justify why $350 spent is somehow better than $100.

    And...GO!
    While the proof of the pudding is in the eating, even a cursory read about the internals of the HomePod vs that of the competition should lead one to expect that the HomePod will sound much better.
    I anxiously await the double-blind study. Everything else is marketing hype. 
    Concur. This "it sounds better" is all fine and good, but honesty - how many people use audio gear to listen to the highest quality audio and do nothing else? There may indeed be people that stare into their quadraphonic blaupunkt like people did with old victrolas and philco sets to hear the latest war news from the BBC, but I suspect most people have music on while doing something else. Doesn't mean they don;t want it to sound as good as possible, but I laugh when people blow huge money on a audio system for a car...and test it parked in a showroom. Now drive it on a 3 hour trip on the interestate at 70 with wind noise. Sound like a concert hall? And you're *driving* so how much listening to the quality are you really doing? And I don't know - are there ANR auto systems available for cars? Maybe a car can be soundproofed.

    It may indeed sound better. Maybe even the tests will prove it. $300 more better? Dunno.

    What I think we will see quickly is bundles. Buy one, get free AM for some period. Then discounts. Oh, and then the HomePod 2, a vast upgrade. Now with an OLED uber retina screen!
    eliangonzaldacharanantksundaramgatorguybeowulfschmidtdysamoria
  • Reply 16 of 101
    NY1822NY1822 Posts: 480member
    i'm sure amazon will be discounting their entire echo line once again....
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 101
    I am considering getting this instead of a sound bar for my tv, Sonos sound bars are like $699 so for half the cost, I am considering this and I can talk to it without pulling out my phone, and just say lets watch Deadpool, it will automatically do it. I doubt I would put one in each room, but for better audio for TV because the Samsung speakers sound awful especially when you turn them up or there is a lot of bass.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 101
    launfall said:
    Another half-assed Apple product that they couldn’t get right on launch.  Apple is beginning to look more and more like a company that with the hundreds of thousands of employees they have can’t work on more than one product at a time, get new products out on time, and then throws them at the public at a premium price in an unfinished state.  Time for Tim Cook to go. He had his chance, now turn the company over to someone who understands the marketplace. 
    Nonsense. Apple doesn't have "hundreds of thousands" of employees:

    As of 2016, the total number of employees had reached around 116 thousand (only counting full-time equivalent).

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/273439/number-of-employees-of-apple-since-2005/

    ...while I would prefer the HP be feature complete today, or yesterday, I don't think Apple has a reputation for throwing unfinished products at customers. I love my X, my AirPods, my Watch, my iPad Pro, my MBP, ATV, etc.. All best in class and I wouldn't want any other. That hasn't changed with the HP software having a delay.

    Fire cook? LOL. Good one, sog.
    williamlondonrandominternetpersonlolliverfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 101

    eightzero said:
    larrya said:
    gustav said:
    vonbrick said:
    Sonos, Amazon and Google will be drinking today from the tears of disappointed users who thought they were waiting for Apple to get it right.

    Now...let's sit back and wait for our fellow AI readers to spin this into a tale of suspense, intrigue and to justify why $350 spent is somehow better than $100.

    And...GO!
    While the proof of the pudding is in the eating, even a cursory read about the internals of the HomePod vs that of the competition should lead one to expect that the HomePod will sound much better.
    I anxiously await the double-blind study. Everything else is marketing hype. 
    Concur. This "it sounds better" is all fine and good, but honesty - how many people use audio gear to listen to the highest quality audio and do nothing else? There may indeed be people that stare into their quadraphonic blaupunkt like people did with old victrolas and philco sets to hear the latest war news from the BBC, but I suspect most people have music on while doing something else. Doesn't mean they don;t want it to sound as good as possible, but I laugh when people blow huge money on a audio system for a car...and test it parked in a showroom. Now drive it on a 3 hour trip on the interestate at 70 with wind noise. Sound like a concert hall? And you're *driving* so how much listening to the quality are you really doing? And I don't know - are there ANR auto systems available for cars? Maybe a car can be soundproofed.

    It may indeed sound better. Maybe even the tests will prove it. $300 more better? Dunno.
    According to the media who listened to it at WWDC, it sounds way better than a $30 Echo Dot or whatever they are. So yes, if you're a consumer in the market for affordable luxury items of the sort Apple or Sonos sells, it's likely $300 better. I have no problem with that... I paid about that for one of the early AirPlay speakers about 5 years ago and all it did was sit there, no Siri; plus it didn't sound very good. If HP sounds good *and* it does some Siri/HK stuff? I'm in.

    The "But cheaper is better!" crowd never seems to get this.
    williamlondonrandominternetpersonlolliverfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 101
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,822member
    I am considering getting this instead of a sound bar for my tv, Sonos sound bars are like $699 so for half the cost, I am considering this and I can talk to it without pulling out my phone, and just say lets watch Deadpool, it will automatically do it. I doubt I would put one in each room, but for better audio for TV because the Samsung speakers sound awful especially when you turn them up or there is a lot of bass.
    I don't think the HomePod would be good as a TV speaker. There are plenty of good soundbars in the same price range as the HomePod. 
    anantksundaramwilliamlondongatorguy
Sign In or Register to comment.