HomePod review: Your mileage may vary, but crank it up for the ride

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  • Reply 41 of 109
    foggyhill said:
    maestro64 said:
    I think i figured why siri is so limited on the homepod, i seems like the question processing is mostly done on the homepod itself verses sending it out to a server first. Just a thought and Apple just needs to crack up its capabilities.
    This also means it is actually better for home automation, something many conveniently forget.

    Also, I totally disagree with 3.5 considering what the main selling point of this thing is. This is AGAIN a desingenious review.

    The review should be against the target market, not the imaginary in someone's head market.

    What speaker this size, can be placed anywhere, delivers this kind of sound... not one... bang... 4.5 to 5 rating, everything else is just prattling and the YMMV in a review is just bizarre too.

    When this thing sells 10M inside 12 months, will people change their tune, or will they slink to darkness like with every other Apple product.
    You should look up the meaning (and proper spelling) of the word disingenuous. I am the target market for this product, as I detailed in the review. It falls short in a few areas, which is why it is a positive but not glowing review. I don’t mind you disagreeing with the score I gave it, but suggesting I was not sincere or fair in my assessment is odd. 
    rogifan_newgatorguyamarkapanantksundarammuthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 42 of 109
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 598editor
    skipper said:
    One correction. You can't set up the HomePod with ANY iPhone. You must be using an iPhone or iPad that uses the same AppleID as the Home in HomeKit.

    This is a major gotcha :(

    Imagine that a wife buys a HomePod for her kitchen but her husband has setup HomeKit with his AppleID. She won't be able to use her Notes, Reminders or Calendar through HomePod because HomeKit requires her husband's AppleID to add a device and then HomePod uses that AppleID as the HomePod owner. HomeKit 'steals' her device during setup and gives it to her husband in the setup process even though HomePod may be using her AppleID for music and podcasts.

    Perhaps a simple solution would be for HomePod setup to ask who in Family Sharing is the owner of the HomePod and then use that AppleID for Notes, Reminders and Calendars.

    Could this problem be caused by the fact that HomePod is both a smart speaker and a HomeKit hub?
    if the wife's icloud is invited to manage the husband's homekit network, is this still true?
  • Reply 43 of 109
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 598editor
    paddy-oh / patty-o is the correct pronunciation.
    I didn't say that was "incorrect". I said that Siri's pronunciation is actually more correct since it's a Spanish derived word. The vowels in Spanish are not pronounced the same way as English, and Siri is using the correct vowel sound for a Spanish word in that instance. Patio is used in English conversation but it's not an English word.
    Siri is localized. If Neil is using it in US English, then no, the correct pronunciation is "paddy-oh." Using the Spanish pronunciation is not more correct in that case.
    If Siri on Neil's account were set to use Spanish (Mexican Spanish? Spain Spanish?) then the Spanish pronunciation would be correct. This is one of the reasons we have localization.
    nhughes
  • Reply 44 of 109
    vmarksvmarks Posts: 598editor
    eightzero said:
    Saw the headline and thought for sure someone had put one of these in their car. 

    Wait...what?
    If someone provides a unit for me, I will totally put one in the car.

    A parked car is actually a pretty interesting listening environment, because the door and window seals are generally pretty tight and there's very little reverb. 
  • Reply 45 of 109
    I agree with Rene Ritchie. Apple needs to fix Siri consistency. He asked Siri how much HomePod costs and Siri said $349. Then he asked the same for AirPods and Siri said ‘apple.com can tell you all about AirPods’.

    And no question should go unanswered. If HomePod can’t answer it should send to a device that can.

    https://twitter.com/reneritchie/status/962714733739692033

    Also because Siri is client side not server side you end up with many versions of Siri which isn’t great.

    http://irace.me/siri
    edited February 11
  • Reply 46 of 109
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,735member
    Notice how any product review that even slightly impinges on an Android based product brings out the AI resident Google representative?  /sigh
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 47 of 109
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,735member
    macgui said:
    I might add that unless your iPhone is already in your hand and unlocked, asking Alexa about the weather is almost always faster than looking it up on a visual device or asking Siri.

    However using a favorite, more detailed weather app would outweigh Alexa's speed and simple response.
    This morning as it was a beautiful day here in central west Florida I asked 'Hey Siri what is the wind speed? As we were thinking of kayaking' Instantly she told me.  I then asked "Hey Siri what's the latest News?'  Instantly she said "Here is the news on NPR, if you want ..."  and listed several other News organization plus Fox News.  NPR news followed.  I spent the next half hour firing question that were instantly answered including 'Hey Siri what is absolute zero?' and got a detailed scientific answer.  All this while the HomePod was playing Gordon Lightfoot quite loudly, she always heard and turned off the music to answer turning it on afterwards.  I am not sure how much faster you could have her respond?  I spent several hours last night listening to old favorited tracks because they just sound so incredibly good.  Shut your eyes and the stereo is actually better than a two speaker set up and there is no 'sweet spot' required as in standard stereo listening, it simply doesn't matter where you are.  Man the bass sounds good on Chicago Transit Authority's I'm a Man.
    edited February 11 Rayz2016brucemcargonautwatto_cobra
  • Reply 48 of 109
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,319member
    MacPro said:
    Notice how any product review that even slightly impinges on an Android based product brings out the AI resident Google representative?  /sigh
    Notice how the most mundane and subjective "Apple falls down on" or "Apple needs to improve" brings out the hardest core and most unforgiving fans to proclaim the article's author unqualified, unfair, just click-baiting or haul out even worse dismissives to try and kill the messenger? There will always be those more interested in affirmation than honesty but I don't believe they represent the majority of AI members. 

    Article like this one are far most helpful and informative than a blogger saying "Wow, I was blown away by the sound!! Everything else sounds like crap." But if those are the shallow uninsightful HomePod "reviews" you're looking for they're really easy to find.
    edited February 11 nhughesmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 49 of 109
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,348member
    I agree with Rene Ritchie. Apple needs to fix Siri consistency. He asked Siri how much HomePod costs and Siri said $349. Then he asked the same for AirPods and Siri said ‘apple.com can tell you all about AirPods’.

    And no question should go unanswered. If HomePod can’t answer it should send to a device that can.

    https://twitter.com/reneritchie/status/962714733739692033

    Also because Siri is client side not server side you end up with many versions of Siri which isn’t great.

    http://irace.me/siri
    The bizarre thing is that if you have 3 devices in the room, they all hear you, then they have a silent chat to decide who should field the question. 

    Apple seems to have decided that the winner is the device with the loudest voice, not the device which has the answer. I think it’s called Brexit Mode. 





    muthuk_vanalingamargonaut
  • Reply 50 of 109
    vmarks said: Siri is localized. If Neil is using it in US English, then no, the correct pronunciation is "paddy-oh." Using the Spanish pronunciation is not more correct in that case.
    Both pronunciations are used in U.S. English. I grew up in a part of the country where "potty-o" would be used just as often as "patty-o" by anglo English speakers. But it was also a part of the country where Spanish surnames were quite common and butchering them in anglicized pronunciation wasn't cool. People had more experience with how vowels and letter combinations should sound when they had a Spanish origin. I would expect that if you went to Louisiana, you would run into more English speakers that have more accurate pronunciation of words that are French in origin. 
  • Reply 51 of 109
    I agree with Rene Ritchie. Apple needs to fix Siri consistency. He asked Siri how much HomePod costs and Siri said $349. Then he asked the same for AirPods and Siri said ‘apple.com can tell you all about AirPods’.

    And no question should go unanswered. If HomePod can’t answer it should send to a device that can.

    https://twitter.com/reneritchie/status/962714733739692033

    Also because Siri is client side not server side you end up with many versions of Siri which isn’t great.

    http://irace.me/siri
    It would depends on whom did you ask the question. For those who objected having a speaker listening to their conversation all the time, would find it is liberating to know that Siri is a client side not server side.
  • Reply 52 of 109
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,348member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    Notice how any product review that even slightly impinges on an Android based product brings out the AI resident Google representative?  /sigh
    Notice how the most mundane and subjective "Apple falls down on" or "Apple needs to improve" brings out the hardest core and most unforgiving fans to proclaim the article's author unqualified, unfair, just click-baiting or haul out even worse dismissives to try and kill the messenger? There will always be those more interested in affirmation than honesty but I don't believe they represent the majority of AI members. 

    Article like this one are far most helpful and informative than a blogger saying "Wow, I was blown away by the sound!! Everything else sounds like crap." But if those are the shallow uninsightful HomePod "reviews" you're 

    Wow. 

    Talk about your false equivalence. 

    He said: Why do you hang around a Mac forum tediously promoting Google?

    You replied: Quick! Look over there! A rabbit! 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 53 of 109
    I have been playing with my HomePod and I can say the sound is much better than my Sonos 1. I have a Martin Logan Soundbar in my bedroom and it always bothered me when I went into my bathroom as the Sonos sounded 'thin and echoish' it was a definite step down from my ML's. The new HomePod sounds pretty close to the ML's. Super rich and enveloping sound. no real discernible difference moving from room to room. In regards to Siri performance, I think it does some things really good (ability to hear your voice under most circumstances, ability to control and tell you about music...) I have Lutron Caseta lightingthrouout my house which I LOVE!! I was disappointed that HP can't control scenes (as of yet). I have several scenes that I use very frequently which makes HP severely lacking in this category. In my living room I have 3 different lights that I like at different levels depending upon what I am doing. Using HP to control them is cumbersome without the scenes ability enabled.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 54 of 109
    foggyhill said:
    maestro64 said:
    I think i figured why siri is so limited on the homepod, i seems like the question processing is mostly done on the homepod itself verses sending it out to a server first. Just a thought and Apple just needs to crack up its capabilities.
    This also means it is actually better for home automation, something many conveniently forget.

    Also, I totally disagree with 3.5 considering what the main selling point of this thing is. This is AGAIN a desingenious review.

    The review should be against the target market, not the imaginary in someone's head market.

    What speaker this size, can be placed anywhere, delivers this kind of sound... not one... bang... 4.5 to 5 rating, everything else is just prattling and the YMMV in a review is just bizarre too.

    When this thing sells 10M inside 12 months, will people change their tune, or will they slink to darkness like with every other Apple product.
    You have any basis that this will sell 10 million in just one year? I beg to differ. It’ll sell well but I don’t believe 10 million. 
  • Reply 55 of 109
    aegean said:
    Nice review. Pretty much same thoughts as mine. I am an audiophile and no I didn't expect HomePod to carry EQs, etc. So far I like it. The quality of sound is amazing and definitely the best "smart speaker" out there. I have it setup in my bedroom and will definitely add one more when Apple will allow the pairings. But, my main music listening is primarily through turntable with headphones otherwise 10.2 channels in my dedicated music room. HomePod has its own use but noway it is going to replace my main music listening experience. Hell not even 10 HomePods can do that job. However, HomePod are perfect on particular occasions. Yes it definitely is a great start that will be much better over time if Apple continues. About more than a decade ago, they released one compact speaker mainly for iPods and those were great too at that time but then they discontinued. Anyways, I also don't care about streaming as I don't use Apple Music and can't even think about other services such as Spotify. I maintain my own hi-res music library but priority has always been playing Vinyl LPs.
    I agree with you. No way this is replacing or even coming close to being as good as my setup that I have but since I’m able to get one at half off, I’m going to get it and put it in the bathroom. 
  • Reply 56 of 109
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,313member
    vmarks said:
    skipper said:
    One correction. You can't set up the HomePod with ANY iPhone. You must be using an iPhone or iPad that uses the same AppleID as the Home in HomeKit.

    This is a major gotcha :(

    Imagine that a wife buys a HomePod for her kitchen but her husband has setup HomeKit with his AppleID. She won't be able to use her Notes, Reminders or Calendar through HomePod because HomeKit requires her husband's AppleID to add a device and then HomePod uses that AppleID as the HomePod owner. HomeKit 'steals' her device during setup and gives it to her husband in the setup process even though HomePod may be using her AppleID for music and podcasts.

    Perhaps a simple solution would be for HomePod setup to ask who in Family Sharing is the owner of the HomePod and then use that AppleID for Notes, Reminders and Calendars.

    Could this problem be caused by the fact that HomePod is both a smart speaker and a HomeKit hub?
    if the wife's icloud is invited to manage the husband's homekit network, is this still true?
    I was wondering this myself and how does Family sharing work as well. I do not use homekit at this point but when I saw you can invite others to control your home kit does this apply to the Homepod as well. I have not play with all these permutation yet. As think about all this, this could explain why Siri on the Homepod is limited due to all the what if scenarios. I can see this who situation getting very complicated, most us can not wait for 2 to 3 years for Apple to work this all out.

    As Neil said on the podcast, it would be nice if all you had to say is "i want to watch this show," and home kit knows what equipment you have, knew what to turn on and just did it. Yes google home knows you have google cast device and will turn on a show and put it on google cast. But that assume your TV is already on, and the input it set to the right input on your TV or AV system, it can not automatically figure that out for you. If you ever watch those commercial it always shows people had everything turned on first.
    edited February 11
  • Reply 57 of 109
    Just an FYI: "potty-o" is actually more correct for pronunciation of "patio" than "patty-o" due to it being a Spanish word.
    Not sure how you can say that someone is pronouncing a word wrong in their own language…
  • Reply 58 of 109
    I agree with Rene Ritchie. Apple needs to fix Siri consistency. He asked Siri how much HomePod costs and Siri said $349. Then he asked the same for AirPods and Siri said ‘apple.com can tell you all about AirPods’.

    And no question should go unanswered. If HomePod can’t answer it should send to a device that can.

    https://twitter.com/reneritchie/status/962714733739692033

    Also because Siri is client side not server side you end up with many versions of Siri which isn’t great.

    http://irace.me/siri
    That’s a no-win proposition, and is actually subtly worse if a HomePod request is automatically sent to another device.

    As it is, someone like you declares, “If HomePod can’t answer it should send to a device that can.” If Apple actually did that, there would be others falling all over themselves complaining that if they’d wanted to go across the room to pick up a device and read something on a screen, they’d have gone across the room to pick up a device and asked for the info there. There is actually a good reason that this alternate scenario would be less desirable. 

    Ultimately, the result is the same -HomePod can’t provide a response, but an iPhone or iPad can- but it’s actually vaguely more irritating if it were to automatically send a query to another device. Set aside the probability that it would guess wrong about which device to send the query and send the request to one that’s further away or less convenient. By sending the request to another device, Siri would be in effect telling you that what you need to do is go over there and pick up your iPad and read the answer. This would actually be a passive-aggressive response, which is an unsatisfying, disrespectful and off-putting answer from an inanimate digital assistant. Instead, by simply responding that the HomePod can’t provide a response, or that the response could be obtained from the website, the digital assistant is giving its best answer and leaving it up to the user to decide if they want to go seek out that answer using another device. Psychologically, “I’m sorry, I don’t have that information” is a better answer from a subservient device than, “I’ve got your answer, but you’ll have to go over there to get it.”
    edited February 11 watto_cobra
  • Reply 59 of 109
    Puzzled  to read the comment in the review about “play the latest album by” not working as I’ve done that loads of times on my iPhone. So I tried it on my HomePod. “Hey Siri, play the latest album by Grandaddy”, and it came back “Here’s Last Place by Grandaddy”. Spot on. 

    I do have an Apple Music subscription, maybe that makes a difference?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 60 of 109
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,319member
    maestro64 said:
    vmarks said:
    skipper said:
    One correction. You can't set up the HomePod with ANY iPhone. You must be using an iPhone or iPad that uses the same AppleID as the Home in HomeKit.

    This is a major gotcha :(

    Imagine that a wife buys a HomePod for her kitchen but her husband has setup HomeKit with his AppleID. She won't be able to use her Notes, Reminders or Calendar through HomePod because HomeKit requires her husband's AppleID to add a device and then HomePod uses that AppleID as the HomePod owner. HomeKit 'steals' her device during setup and gives it to her husband in the setup process even though HomePod may be using her AppleID for music and podcasts.

    Perhaps a simple solution would be for HomePod setup to ask who in Family Sharing is the owner of the HomePod and then use that AppleID for Notes, Reminders and Calendars.

    Could this problem be caused by the fact that HomePod is both a smart speaker and a HomeKit hub?
    if the wife's icloud is invited to manage the husband's homekit network, is this still true?
    As Neil said on the podcast, it would be nice if all you had to say is "i want to watch this show," and home kit knows what equipment you have, knew what to turn on and just did it. Yes google home knows you have google cast device and will turn on a show and put it on google cast. But that assume your TV is already on, and the input it set to the right input on your TV or AV system, it can not automatically figure that out for you. If you ever watch those commercial it always shows people had everything turned on first.
    Not entirely accurate. If I say "play Stranger things on Netflix on the bedroom TV" Google Home will turn that Chromecast-equipped TV on if it is off, change to the proper input and begin playing Stranger Things. But on the living room TV the Chromecast is part of the Nvidia Shield which is separately powered so it's not quite as straightforward. If a Chromecast was directly connected to that TV too I think it would work the same way as the bedroom one.
    edited February 11
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