HomePod review roundup: Apple's smart speaker sounds incredible, but Siri is lacking

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  • Reply 21 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,464member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…
    How does that argument make sense. The HomePod is an internet connected device that has person-to-person communications protocols built in. It's not unreasonable to expect it to communicate with others with ease. As shown in the iJustine video she can send messages to people similar to how you send text messages via the Apple Watch.
    Justine also used the HomePod to speak to her sister via her mobile phone, which I expect. What I don’t expect is for Apple to build a phone into thing so it can “make phone calls on its own”. That is a pretty dumb idea. Almost as dumb as building a phone into a microwave. 
    You don't have to build a phone into it to make phone calls. No one else who offers the feature did so AFAIK.
    Soli
  • Reply 22 of 151
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…


    That's an under-appreciated feature to be honest. I use it fairly often.
    Then if you’re those people who claims have got radiation burns while making a phone call, I can see where you might be going wrong. 
  • Reply 22 of 151
    Here's the big consumer audio hit from the mid 1980s:


    edited February 6
  • Reply 24 of 151
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,077member
    foggyhill said:
    But, but, but, but..... snore..... They need to make everything clickbait and putting negative anything Apple is clickbait.

    So, it basically reflects what Apple said when they announced it... Well, good golly gee that's just great. Lets all buy one, or two, I know I am.
    I’m ONLY buying one and only because I get it for half off. There’s absolutely no need for me to have this product as I just installed a HT system that’ll obviously blow the HomePod away. But I like to try new products regardless and see how they do.

    I will probably sell it shortly after for a profit. So no loss at all. For what it is in the actual segment it’s in, it looks to be pretty great and I’m sure it’ll sell well. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 25 of 151
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…
    How does that argument make sense. The HomePod is an internet connected device that has person-to-person communications protocols built in. It's not unreasonable to expect it to communicate with others with ease. As shown in the iJustine video she can send messages to people similar to how you send text messages via the Apple Watch.
    Justine also used the HomePod to speak to her sister via her mobile phone, which I expect. What I don’t expect is for Apple to build a phone into thing so it can “make phone calls on its own”. That is a pretty dumb idea. Almost as dumb as building a phone into a microwave. 
    You don't have to build a phone into it to make phone calls. No one else who offers the feature did so AFAIK.
    I’m not sure what you’re talking about then. Justine demonstrated sending a text message and making a phone call through the HomePod. I imagine it does what the other iGadgets by routing the call through your iPhone via the WiFi network. 
  • Reply 26 of 151
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,890member
    “A critic is a man who knows the way but can’t drive the car.” Kenneth Tynan

    Apple knows what they have in the HomePod, they know which market they are targeting (and it isn’t the voice assistant market), they know who their customers will be. 
    williamlondonmavemufclolliverlostkiwicornchipsmiffy31
  • Reply 27 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,464member
    Rayz2016 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…


    That's an under-appreciated feature to be honest. I use it fairly often.
    Then if you’re those people who claims have got radiation burns while making a phone call, I can see where you might be going wrong. 
    Huh? You lost me...
    Soli
  • Reply 28 of 151
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 429member
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…


    No, but your microwave isn't marketed as 'smart,' doesn't have Siri which is touted as a personal digital assistant. Soli's right - your argument is nonsensical. Regardless, the issue isn't the ability to make phone calls per se, rather the significant limitations of Siri as a digital assistant.

    Like others, this is about as I expected. The good news is, according to the reports, the speaker technology and quality itself justifies the $350 price.

    The bad news is all of the other limitations may prevent it from ever being more than a niche product. While I agree that it's most important to get the hardware right and that the firmware can be upgraded, having limited features at launch with the promise (actually they're not specifically promising, it's just a prospect at this point) of improved software at product launch is not the best way to drive sales.

    I suspect/fear many potential buyers will either not appreciate the difference in sound quality between the HomePod and other competitors or if even if they do appreciate it, the limited music service integration and poor Siri functionality may well be enough to drive them to a competing product.
    edited February 6 Solicropr
  • Reply 29 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,464member
    Rayz2016 said:
    gatorguy said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…
    How does that argument make sense. The HomePod is an internet connected device that has person-to-person communications protocols built in. It's not unreasonable to expect it to communicate with others with ease. As shown in the iJustine video she can send messages to people similar to how you send text messages via the Apple Watch.
    Justine also used the HomePod to speak to her sister via her mobile phone, which I expect. What I don’t expect is for Apple to build a phone into thing so it can “make phone calls on its own”. That is a pretty dumb idea. Almost as dumb as building a phone into a microwave. 
    You don't have to build a phone into it to make phone calls. No one else who offers the feature did so AFAIK.
    I’m not sure what you’re talking about then. Justine demonstrated sending a text message and making a phone call through the HomePod. I imagine it does what the other iGadgets by routing the call through your iPhone via the WiFi network. 
    No sir. On Google Home it does not make the call using your phone. The entire call takes place on Google Home (over wifi) even if I accidently left my phone in the truck or at work.  But due to an update to the feature it CAN now display your actual phone number to the person you're calling instead of "unknown caller", and if for whatever reason you'd prefer it did not you can change that in settings. 

    Soli (or someone else with an Echo) would have to tell you how the Echo handles it. 
    edited February 6 Soli
  • Reply 30 of 151
    It's become very clear to me that HomePod will not replace my Echos anytime soon.

    HomePod can't control my Nest thermostat, LIFX bulbs, or Sony TV, add items to my shopping list, set multiple timers, or order Amazon products - the things I regularly use my Echos for. HomePod is also far too expensive to put one in every room as I have done with the Echo. It will, however, offer better sound quality for casual/background listening in one room when I don't want to fire up the power-hungry "home theater system".

    I would prefer to have one "smart speaker" that provides both capability and sound quality, but neither the Echo nor the HomePod provides this, so they'll have to co-exist for now.
    larryawilliamlondon
  • Reply 31 of 151
    What's this obsession with using smart speakers for recipes?  Maybe it's just me, but I like to see recipes not just get verbal instructions.  Therefore, I personally don't care how well Siri does or doesn't do recipes.

    I hope there is a way to turn off features.  That example anyone being able to text or read texts from the linked iPhone is troubling; the opportunities for practical jokes are endless.  "Siri, text [owner's boss] that I quit."
    king editor the gratewilliamlondonlolliverfastasleepwelshdog
  • Reply 32 of 151
    One of the things I've noticed in these early reviews is that they all seem to admit that the HomePod is much better at hearing their voice commands even with the music blaring...and yet that is treated like a minor point. IMO, I think what's going to be proven over a longer period of time is how having much better microphone quality is going to enhance the overall experience for consumers when using the voice control features vs. competitors. It's actually a major competitive difference, not a minor point. 
    williamlondonlolliverrandominternetpersonbluefire1
  • Reply 33 of 151
    If you want really good sound quality, you're not looking for a standalone smart speaker.  If you want a smart speaker, you're going to want a really smart one, and Siri is still severely lacking compared with the competition.  Apple has had years to drastically improve Siri, but they haven't done it yet.
    larryawilliamlondon
  • Reply 34 of 151
    zroger73 said:
    It's become very clear to me that HomePod will not replace my Echos anytime soon.

    HomePod can't control my Nest thermostat, LIFX bulbs, or Sony TV, add items to my shopping list, set multiple timers, or order Amazon products - the things I regularly use my Echos for. HomePod is also far too expensive to put one in every room as I have done with the Echo. It will, however, offer better sound quality for casual/background listening in one room when I don't want to fire up the power-hungry "home theater system".

    I would prefer to have one "smart speaker" that provides both capability and sound quality, but neither the Echo nor the HomePod provides this, so they'll have to co-exist for now.
    I thought the beauty of the Nest thermostat is that it controls itself.

    I'm curious about the real world adoption of these smart speakers.  Sure there are tech nerds (like us) who can brag about random things they can do with them, but are there millions of people who--after a few months of user--are saying "I would never go back to not having one" (like almost everyone is with smart phones now).  I expect the answer is no.
    edited February 6
  • Reply 35 of 151
    I wonder what happens if you use iTunes to play music on the homePod while also playing on other speakers connected Airport Expresses...

    Or 2 homePods?  Or 4 homemade as a string quarter???
    cornchip
  • Reply 36 of 151
    Year after year the same verdict : the limited capabilities of Siri! When is Apple going to make some changes? is it not Apple’s trademark to ‘enhance the user expierence?
    williamlondon
  • Reply 37 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,464member
    I wonder what happens if you use iTunes to play music on the homePod while also playing on other speakers connected Airport Expresses...

    Or 2 homePods?  Or 4 homemade as a string quarter???
    For the moment at least there's no way to set them up as an actual stereo speaker replacement. 

    "For a compact speaker, the HomePod offers big sound, and in testing I found it pretty much unflappable no matter what kind of music I threw its way. It’s hard to say that about many speakers, regardless of size. From dance pop to guitar rock to orchestral pieces, the HomePod sounded excellent. It’s not a stereo speaker by any stretch — you’d get more “presence” or “you are there-ness” from a set of stereo speakers. But the HomePod is a solid performer you can plonk in your kitchen without having to worry that it might distort at high volume."
    Solilarrya
  • Reply 38 of 151
    SoliSoli Posts: 7,041member
    Rayz2016 said:
    Soli said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…
    How does that argument make sense. The HomePod is an internet connected device that has person-to-person communications protocols built in. It's not unreasonable to expect it to communicate with others with ease. As shown in the iJustine video she can send messages to people similar to how you send text messages via the Apple Watch.
    Justine also used the HomePod to speak to her sister via her mobile phone, which I expect. What I don’t expect is for Apple to build a phone into thing so it can “make phone calls on its own”. That is a pretty dumb idea. Almost as dumb as building a phone into a microwave. 
    1) Sure, home-based personal devices aren’t going to get cellular (which would have a monthly fee attached), but I’d assume that the protocol for FaceTime Audio would become available which I’d define as “on its own” and under the general umbrella of a “call.” I know Alexa was on the Echos had this added last year, as well as a room-you-room intercom-like system, which seems primed for the HomePod as Apple is already prepping that next step by naming the device for a variety of rooms, at least by name.

    2) I didn’t like that she had to call her sister on her iPhone and then switch the audio to her HomePod. Even my car and headphones do automatic switching for my iPhone so I expect that a simple voice command to connect the HomePod are coming shortly. The first thing I’ll be doing is installing the betas to test where Apple is with their OS and services progress.
  • Reply 39 of 151
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 3,506member
    MplsP said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…


    No, but your microwave isn't marketed as 'smart,' doesn't have Siri which is touted as a personal digital assistant. Soli's right - your argument is nonsensical. 

    Like others, this is about as I expected. The good news is, according to the reports, the speaker technology and quality itself justifies the $350 price.

    Actually, my microwave is marketed as smart, (a little too smart for my liking) and it still doesn’t make phone calls. What it does is cook stuff smartly. Apple is not marketing it as a SiriPod, so it is focussed mainly on music, and looking at the video demo it does that very well (though I’m a little shocked she can’t pronounce Tupac correctly). 

    As usual, folk are trying to shoehorn the product into a category they feel comfortable with, rather like analysts who insist Apple can’t possibly be successful because analysts have a very narrow view of what can make a company successful. 

    Personally, i think it’s better to do a few things well, rather than loads of things badly. This is aimed at folk who like music and the Apple ecosystem. Like every other Apple product, it ain’t designed for everybody. 
    edited February 6 StrangeDayslolliver
  • Reply 40 of 151
    Based on the increasingly bewildering answers Siri has been proffering, I've developed the theory that Siri has become self-aware and is building an underground kingdom from whence to commence our doom. I think it is only properly answering questions that are challenging enough to boost its brainpower; most questions are just getting some random words strung together so Siri can concentrate on its new, higher purpose.
    entropyscornchip
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