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

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  • Reply 81 of 151
    AppleZulu said:
    I would imagine this particular ‘limitation’ is at least in part related to Apple’s approach to security. Do you really want anyone who just happens to be passing through to be able to place or answer calls using to your cell phone number? I don’t think I do.
    Having somehow survived decades of having a telephone on my desk that any passer-by can use to place or answer a call, I don’t really see a security threat here.

    Besides, I can place a call from my Mac without having to pull my phone out of my pocket. Why would the HomePod not offer similar functionality?
    king editor the gratewilliamlondon
  • Reply 82 of 151
    Rayz2016 said:
    “It can’t make phone calls on its own.”

    Yup, neither can my microwave…


    My Echo Dot can make calls on its own.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 83 of 151
    I think some of the reviews miss the mark. It isn’t whether one focused on smarts over sound it’s a trade off between sound and price. An Echo or Home don’t sound as good because the top priority was as cheap as possible to get in as many homes as possible. The question that should be asked of Apple is why didn’t they focus on both sound and smarts?  I’m guessing the people working on audio are not the same people working on Siri. Why wasn’t HomePod the product to showcase a much improved Siri so Apple could say Siri is just as smart as the competition but HomePod sounds so much better. I know Siri gets better through software but how many people are going to buy hardware with the promise of better software in the future?
    Ask any Windows or Android users.
    lollivercornchip
  • Reply 84 of 151
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,766member
    I'm glad this review addresses the state of Siri, which is seriously lagging behind in many respects. As stated in this thread, Siri is truly a joke.
    Not paying $349 for this speaker but it looks cool and I'm super curious how it will sound, especially two of 'em. 
    Actually this is NOT what this thread is even saying, so wtf are even talking about, maybe the thread in your head?
    lolliverStrangeDays
  • Reply 85 of 151
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,208member
    AppleZulu said:
    I would imagine this particular ‘limitation’ is at least in part related to Apple’s approach to security. Do you really want anyone who just happens to be passing through to be able to place or answer calls using to your cell phone number? I don’t think I do.
    Having somehow survived decades of having a telephone on my desk that any passer-by can use to place or answer a call, I don’t really see a security threat here.

    Besides, I can place a call from my Mac without having to pull my phone out of my pocket. Why would the HomePod not offer similar functionality?
    The WiFi and the internet are much less forgiving than land line for security breaches. Mostly, landlines are considered insecure even if the locations can be immediately verified. I can get police, fire, or medical assistance easily over landline, but otherwise not be able to order a pizza for delivery without prepayment.

    These IoT devices are only as good as the security procedures available to and in use by the consumer.
    edited February 6
  • Reply 86 of 151
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,380member
    Soli said:
    One thing I'd like to see with their Shazam purpose is being able to say to Siri "What song is this?" and then proceed to poorly sing the song, speak the lyrics, or even hum a few notes to have it figure it out. I don't know where Shazam left off, but I know that other services had the ability to pick up songs not sung by the original artist.
    Oh, sweet Lord no...

    Instead of everyone sitting around:
    - staring at their screens
    - using speaker phone
    - playing music or videos with the speaker on

    now we'd have everyone singing, off-key, different songs into their iPhones...

    ...just like closing time at the piano bar
    I can't even fathom how a piano bar at closing at closing time would be your reply to wanting to quickly be able to know the occasional song stuck in your head without having to google the lyrics.
    lolliver
  • Reply 87 of 151
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,380member
    evilution said:
    Yes, SIRI isn't great and Alexa is better. However, I have Alexa devices in my house as well and I still don't use her in the same way I don't use SIRI.
    Apart from setting an alarm when I'm cooking I don't use any personal assistants for anything. I always have my iPad or iPhone with me so if I need to control anything or find anything out, I'll just use those.
    Nothing you write can be considered credible when you repeatedly put Siri in all caps.
    MacPro
  • Reply 88 of 151
    I would reserve my judgement after I use it myself. Lots of these reviews confirmed what I have known, which does not affect my decision whatsoever. Apple is playing safe, Siri is limited, so what? Siri and software can be improved, but not the hardware. Apple seems get the priority right.
    lolliverwilliamlondoncornchip
  • Reply 89 of 151
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,380member
    kevin kee said:
    I would reserve my judgement after I use it myself. Lots of these reviews confirmed what I have known, which does not affect my decision whatsoever. Apple is playing safe, Siri is limited, so what? Siri and software can be improved, but not the hardware. Apple seems get the priority right.
    Why do people keep making such a ridiculous statement. HW improves all the fucking time. The common argument in 2007 for why the original iPhone was such a game changer despite not having the common '3G' network access was "they got the OS foundation right, and the HW will be improved every year." Adding more and better speakers to something is easiest part of this device. It's the SW that is complex and difficult, which is why the HomePod is being shipped with such a limited feature set.
  • Reply 90 of 151
    tmaytmay Posts: 3,208member
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I would reserve my judgement after I use it myself. Lots of these reviews confirmed what I have known, which does not affect my decision whatsoever. Apple is playing safe, Siri is limited, so what? Siri and software can be improved, but not the hardware. Apple seems get the priority right.
    Why do people keep making such a ridiculous statement. HW improves all the fucking time. The common argument in 2007 for why the original iPhone was such a game changer despite not having the common '3G' network access was "they got the OS foundation right, and the HW will be improved every year." Adding more and better speakers to something is easiest part of this device. It's the SW that is complex and difficult, which is why the HomePod is being shipped with such a limited feature set.
    It's pretty obvious that he means a device once sold to a consumer is not going to be capable of a future hardware upgrade, but "Apple got the priority right" with the hardware of the HomePod. Just as Apple took the lead on 64bit SOC's, which has that effect of providing these iPhones a long life cycle, so does the hardware included today in the HomePod. It's engineered with a modern audio hardware architecture, and its usability is upgradeable over its lifecycle via software.
    edited February 6 StrangeDayswaverboyrandominternetpersonfastasleepcornchip
  • Reply 91 of 151
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I would reserve my judgement after I use it myself. Lots of these reviews confirmed what I have known, which does not affect my decision whatsoever. Apple is playing safe, Siri is limited, so what? Siri and software can be improved, but not the hardware. Apple seems get the priority right.
    Why do people keep making such a ridiculous statement. HW improves all the fucking time. The common argument in 2007 for why the original iPhone was such a game changer despite not having the common '3G' network access was "they got the OS foundation right, and the HW will be improved every year." Adding more and better speakers to something is easiest part of this device. It's the SW that is complex and difficult, which is why the HomePod is being shipped with such a limited feature set.
    It's pretty obvious that he means a device once sold to a consumer is not going to be capable of a future hardware upgrade, but "Apple got the priority right" with the hardware of the HomePod. Just as Apple took the lead on 64bit SOC's, which has that effect of providing these iPhones a long life cycle, so does the hardware included today in the HomePod. It's engineered with a modern audio hardware architecture, and its usability is upgradeable over its lifecycle via software.
    Quite right, and this is plainly obvious to anyone not playing at being obtuse. Once you buy a shitty sounding speaker, nothing will ever make it better. But if you buy a great sounding speaker, the voice control features can be updated later without requiring another purchase. 
    randominternetpersonfastasleepwilliamlondoncornchip
  • Reply 92 of 151
    tmay said:
    Soli said:
    kevin kee said:
    I would reserve my judgement after I use it myself. Lots of these reviews confirmed what I have known, which does not affect my decision whatsoever. Apple is playing safe, Siri is limited, so what? Siri and software can be improved, but not the hardware. Apple seems get the priority right.
    Why do people keep making such a ridiculous statement. HW improves all the fucking time. The common argument in 2007 for why the original iPhone was such a game changer despite not having the common '3G' network access was "they got the OS foundation right, and the HW will be improved every year." Adding more and better speakers to something is easiest part of this device. It's the SW that is complex and difficult, which is why the HomePod is being shipped with such a limited feature set.
    It's pretty obvious that he means a device once sold to a consumer is not going to be capable of a future hardware upgrade, but "Apple got the priority right" with the hardware of the HomePod. Just as Apple took the lead on 64bit SOC's, which has that effect of providing these iPhones a long life cycle, so does the hardware included today in the HomePod. It's engineered with a modern audio hardware architecture, and its usability is upgradeable over its lifecycle via software.
    Quite right, and this is plainly obvious to anyone not playing at being obtuse. Once you buy a shitty sounding speaker, nothing will ever make it better. But if you buy a great sounding speaker, the voice control features can be updated later without requiring another purchase. 
    Thanks to point out my point. That's exactly right. I can't stand cheap quality sound speaker, but I can wait for any software improvements. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 93 of 151
    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. 
    Why not keep it for the kitchen, bedroom ....office ?  I have a pretty decent home theatre setup myself, as well as a decent sound bar/sub in my bedroom. HomePod is no threat to those things. 

     I have people over and just generally listen to a LOT of my music on the 2nd floor dining room area of my place. That is where I am putting the HomePod. It is replacing a Bluetooth speaker that I have had for almost 7 years.  Surely you can find a place to use it ?  B)
  • Reply 94 of 151
    I think some of the reviews miss the mark. It isn’t whether one focused on smarts over sound it’s a trade off between sound and price. An Echo or Home don’t sound as good because the top priority was as cheap as possible to get in as many homes as possible. The question that should be asked of Apple is why didn’t they focus on both sound and smarts?  I’m guessing the people working on audio are not the same people working on Siri. Why wasn’t HomePod the product to showcase a much improved Siri so Apple could say Siri is just as smart as the competition but HomePod sounds so much better. I know Siri gets better through software but how many people are going to buy hardware with the promise of better software in the future?
    Who's to say Apple didn't improve Siri to showcase it on the homePod?

    FWIW, new beta releases dropped today for Xcode, iOS and tvOS (there must be a homePodOS in there somewhere).

    Lately, Apple has dropped public releases shortly after many betas.  

    I suspect that a variant of tvOS will be used on the homePod.


    Not one review I’ve seen mentions improved Siri capabilities.
  • Reply 95 of 151
    I think some of the reviews miss the mark. It isn’t whether one focused on smarts over sound it’s a trade off between sound and price. An Echo or Home don’t sound as good because the top priority was as cheap as possible to get in as many homes as possible. The question that should be asked of Apple is why didn’t they focus on both sound and smarts?  I’m guessing the people working on audio are not the same people working on Siri. Why wasn’t HomePod the product to showcase a much improved Siri so Apple could say Siri is just as smart as the competition but HomePod sounds so much better. I know Siri gets better through software but how many people are going to buy hardware with the promise of better software in the future?
    Ask any Windows or Android users.
    Um, but that’s why I’m not a Windows or Android user. Btw, Christina Warren (who used to write for Mashable and is pretty much all in on Apple products) isn’t keeping HomePod because it doesn’t natively support Spotify. She said she’s going back to Sonos.
  • Reply 96 of 151
    Soli said:
    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."
    It's not about "smart speakers" it's about a personal digital assistant. If you're scaling a recipe up or down and it's in American imperial units can you instantly scale every weird unit of measurement? What if you're busy cooking and you don't want to swap out a teaspoon for a tablespoon for a measurement? Can you do the conversions instantly in your head? What about using a mixing bowl on a scale and want to just add, say, lemon juice to the contents without having to measure it out in volume; do you know how many grams are in a cup of water? I couldn't answer any of those but any personal digital assistance should be able to answer these with extreme ease.

    What about the general use of having a personal digital assistant in the kitchen so you can set unlimited timers with a simple voice command, check to see who's at the front door without stopping what you're doing, changing your station, playing Jeopardy, and countless other things while a part of your brain is doing a certain skill but free for something else, or simply because your hands are full?
    Those are all handy features and none of them is "recipes."  I am doubt any of the current "assistants" will be able to answer those "with ease."

    As for cooking, playing jeopardy, listening to the radio, and doing "countless other things" while cooking...  That sounds like a nightmare.
  • Reply 97 of 151
    I think some of the reviews miss the mark. It isn’t whether one focused on smarts over sound it’s a trade off between sound and price. An Echo or Home don’t sound as good because the top priority was as cheap as possible to get in as many homes as possible. The question that should be asked of Apple is why didn’t they focus on both sound and smarts?  I’m guessing the people working on audio are not the same people working on Siri. Why wasn’t HomePod the product to showcase a much improved Siri so Apple could say Siri is just as smart as the competition but HomePod sounds so much better. I know Siri gets better through software but how many people are going to buy hardware with the promise of better software in the future?
    Who's to say Apple didn't improve Siri to showcase it on the homePod?

    FWIW, new beta releases dropped today for Xcode, iOS and tvOS (there must be a homePodOS in there somewhere).

    Lately, Apple has dropped public releases shortly after many betas.  

    I suspect that a variant of tvOS will be used on the homePod.


    Not one review I’ve seen mentions improved Siri capabilities.
    My point was that the reviewers haven’t seen new Siri capabilities — they would be in the new software drops.
  • Reply 98 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,319member
    Soli said:
    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."
    It's not about "smart speakers" it's about a personal digital assistant. If you're scaling a recipe up or down and it's in American imperial units can you instantly scale every weird unit of measurement? What if you're busy cooking and you don't want to swap out a teaspoon for a tablespoon for a measurement? Can you do the conversions instantly in your head? What about using a mixing bowl on a scale and want to just add, say, lemon juice to the contents without having to measure it out in volume; do you know how many grams are in a cup of water? I couldn't answer any of those but any personal digital assistance should be able to answer these with extreme ease.

    What about the general use of having a personal digital assistant in the kitchen so you can set unlimited timers with a simple voice command, check to see who's at the front door without stopping what you're doing, changing your station, playing Jeopardy, and countless other things while a part of your brain is doing a certain skill but free for something else, or simply because your hands are full?
    Those are all handy features and none of them is "recipes."  I am doubt any of the current "assistants" will be able to answer those "with ease."

    Yes those questions were answered with ease. I just tried it.
    fastasleep
  • Reply 99 of 151
    asdasd said:
    People dissing Siri forget she understands far more languages than the competitors. 
    That's like a person who speaks ten different languages, but isn't fluent in any of them.
  • Reply 100 of 151
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 1,923member
    Soli said:
    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."
    It's not about "smart speakers" it's about a personal digital assistant. If you're scaling a recipe up or down and it's in American imperial units can you instantly scale every weird unit of measurement? What if you're busy cooking and you don't want to swap out a teaspoon for a tablespoon for a measurement? Can you do the conversions instantly in your head? What about using a mixing bowl on a scale and want to just add, say, lemon juice to the contents without having to measure it out in volume; do you know how many grams are in a cup of water? I couldn't answer any of those but any personal digital assistance should be able to answer these with extreme ease.

    What about the general use of having a personal digital assistant in the kitchen so you can set unlimited timers with a simple voice command, check to see who's at the front door without stopping what you're doing, changing your station, playing Jeopardy, and countless other things while a part of your brain is doing a certain skill but free for something else, or simply because your hands are full?
    Siri can do unit conversion, not sure why you’re implying it doesn’t. 
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