Video: Apple HomePod vs. Google Home Max

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 43
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    100 bucks for a Bowers and Wilkins Z2?  Right now there is only a refurbished unit on Amazon for $548, but I do see some used or refurbished for ~$100. I'm thinking the B&W was more than $350 when new (and of course, it is not a smart speaker), so how fair a comparison is this?
    B&W doesn't manufacture/sell the Z2 anymore.  When it was first released I believe it was around $300, but they lowered the MSRP to $200.  I bought it for sale on Amazon for $100.  I'm comparing sound quality not features.  Apple's introduction just talked about sound quality so isn't that the whole point for buying this?  They are charging $350 for a speaker that doesn't sound as good as a lot of $200 speakers and isn't as smart as a $50 speaker.
  • Reply 22 of 43
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,516member
    Lab4Us said:
    fallenjt said:
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    While I’m a newbie too, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion all these “returns” are probably pretty easy since there was likely never a purchade in the first place.  I mean people would have to be pretty stupid to read up on HomePod (or read the box at purchase) and NOT understand exactly what HomePod does...right?
    Lab4Us said:
    fallenjt said:
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    While I’m a newbie too, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion all these “returns” are probably pretty easy since there was likely never a purchade in the first place.  I mean people would have to be pretty stupid to read up on HomePod (or read the box at purchase) and NOT understand exactly what HomePod does...right?
    Lab4Us said:
    fallenjt said:
    apple-tx said:
    cpsro said:
    HomePod produces too much very-low-frequency bass and infrasound, which is distracting and highly annoying (often bordering on painful).  Outdoor audio often contains wind buffeting noises and even in the controlled environment of a studio, buffeting sounds are produced if the speaker's mouth is too close to the mic.  This complaint of mine is tied with the HomePod being unable to play most internet radio streams.  NPR stations around the country are recognized by Siri but a lot of major stations--even ones located in Cupertino's backyard--are not. Despite my finding the HomePod to be by far the best for both voice recognition (compared to Echos) and reproduction of the spoken word (compared to the Echo, Echo Dot and Sonos Play 5), I had to return my HomePod for the above reasons, because it's not clear when these issues will be addressed.
    I bought it and returned it also.  For $350, I was expecting a better sounding speaker.  Comparing it to my Bowers and Wilkins Z2 airplay speaker that I got for $100 on Amazon, the HomePod doesn’t keep up sound wise — and that’s an entry level B&W speaker.  I’ll just wait to see what AirPlay 2 speaker B&W releases.

    I’m surprised by all the HomePod reviews that gush over how good the sound quality is.  It is a decent sounding speaker, but there are much better offerings from real speaker manufacturers in the same, or even lower, price range.
    As I expected sooner or later there will be a bullshit comment like this one from a newbie. I hope the next newbie won't bring Bose SoundLink system to compare with the HomePod. HomePod is a fucking smart speaker, not only an Airplay speaker, for god sake. It's like you compare a smartphone with a landline phone and say that your landline phone sounds clearer and is a lot cheaper. WTF!
    While I’m a newbie too, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion all these “returns” are probably pretty easy since there was likely never a purchade in the first place.  I mean people would have to be pretty stupid to read up on HomePod (or read the box at purchase) and NOT understand exactly what HomePod does...right?
    The return was indeed very easy, because of Apple’s return policy! And the Apple store rep. was very interested in my feedback. In all of the many reviews I’ve read, no one has mentioned the annoying infrasound produced by the HomePod. No one has mentioned how poor it was at playing internet radio stations.
  • Reply 23 of 43
    chasmchasm Posts: 1,697member
    Good video. Even watching this video with only computer speakers, I could clearly tell the HomePod's superior spatial characteristics in the side-by-sides. Google has put together a fine directional speaker with some clear advantages, but the huge disadvantage for me is the privacy -- as in, there isn't any with the Home Max. This also rules out Alexa for the same reason: don't feel like being recorded and analyzed. Then there's the extra $50 bucks the Max costs ...

    As for radio stations (see Cpsro's comment, above): I don't own a HomePod yet, but I'm pretty sure you can push any station (or just "any digital music period") to the device from your iPhone using AirPlay, so I don't think this is a very big deal really -- and some services are likely to "go native" with future software updates in the same way that podcasts are "native" with HomePod. We'll see what AirPlay 2 brings, along with further updates as time goes on.

    I personally think reviewers are making a bit too much out of the disparities between Siri and the other voice assistants -- as surveys have shown, 95 percent of users use it to control music and ask general questions 95 percent of the time, so in that context all the assistants are roughly the same.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 24 of 43
    techrulestechrules Posts: 53unconfirmed, member
    It is really hard to figure out what Apple was thinking with the HomePod.  I mean it is a speaker and no input jack like on the Google Home Max.  So you can not use it with your TV and leverage the processor creating the incredible sound.

    But the biggest is no mic mute button on the HomePod?    It is just ridiculous.

    Apple usually comes late and blows everything else away and you pay for it.   Here the HomePod is inferior to the Google Home Max in every way but price.


  • Reply 25 of 43
    techrulestechrules Posts: 53unconfirmed, member
    k2kw said:
    Google Max seems like a knockoff of the Sonos Play 5.  Seems like it gets loud but the sound could be better.   The only appealing thing about it is the auxiliary in port.   Wish HomePod had that.

    You will find the Google Max has cleaner sound than the HomePod especially in the mid range.   Also Google tuned it to be true sound instead of over emphasizing bass which is what I was worried they would to.   

    Probably the best comparison done was the one done by Yahoo with music trained ears and done as a blind test.    

    BTW, I have spent time with both the HomePod and the Google Home Max.

    edited February 2018
  • Reply 26 of 43
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,017member
    This was a very informative and bluntly honest review and I really appreciate AI for posting it. I am a very vocal critic of Siri which I consider Apple's albatross product, improve it Apple or let it pass away. Having said that if for some reason I found a need for this speaker I tell you that I would never think of using Siri.
  • Reply 27 of 43
    techrules said:
    It is really hard to figure out what Apple was thinking with the HomePod.  I mean it is a speaker and no input jack like on the Google Home Max.  So you can not use it with your TV and leverage the processor creating the incredible sound.

    But the biggest is no mic mute button on the HomePod?    It is just ridiculous.

    Apple usually comes late and blows everything else away and you pay for it.   Here the HomePod is inferior to the Google Home Max in every way but price.


    "Both Google Home and Amazon Echo encrypt your voice data, too, but there are two big differences. One, Amazon and Google associate your data directly with you and your account to learn how to serve you better. Meanwhile, Apple does not associate your data with you or your account, but rather with a randomized set of numbers. Secondly, Apple deletes the association between the data and the random code every six months, whereas Amazon and Google just hold on to it forever unless you bother to delete it yourself, Wired explains."

    http://www.businessinsider.com/best-smart-speaker-amazon-echo

    Mute button means nothing. It's nothing more than asking Siri to turn off Hey Siri. 
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.

    You can use your HomePod with your TV if you have Apple TV.

    Apple is focusing on boosting their own ecosystem. It sucks for us because there's less flexibility, but for Apple, it's the quickest way to get where they want to be in 5 years. 

    The Apple ecosystem has the potential to control literally every aspect of your modern home, just as you can see in some sci-fi movies.

    That's why Apple has been so big on privacy and security using various forms of encryption.

    That's also the reason why Siri is inferior to the other voice assistants, which focus more on growth and machine learning, rather than privacy.

    That's my take on this. 
  • Reply 28 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,239member
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    edited February 2018 mac_128
  • Reply 29 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    That's what he means by disabling "Ok Google." It's SW no longer listening for the wake word. It's not a physical switch that breaks a circuit supplying connectivity to the microphones. Since it's SW then it's no different than do any other SW option to request disabling the wake word. If you want to be sure your device can't listen then you need to unplug it.

    edit: It looks like Google may have implemented a physical interrupt, not just a physical switch.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 30 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Link? I didn't notice any circuit that would cut power and connectivity to the Google Home microphones before they reach the logic board.

    edit: OK, I need to check the Echos.


    edit 2: I'm not convinced the Echos are impossible to unmute in SW with how the HW switch is apparently tied to the mic amp. We've seen something similar before with iSight camera light being inline with the camera power, but I seem to recall that some lights can be disabled whole the camera is active.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 31 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,239member
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    That's what he means by disabling "Ok Google." It's SW no longer listening for the wake word. It's not a physical switch that breaks a circuit supplying connectivity to the microphones. Since it's SW then it's no different than do any other SW option to request disabling the wake word. If you want to be sure your device can't listen then you need to unplug it.
    On Google Home it IS a physical switch that actually interrupts the circuit. 


    mac_128
  • Reply 32 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    That's what he means by disabling "Ok Google." It's SW no longer listening for the wake word. It's not a physical switch that breaks a circuit supplying connectivity to the microphones. Since it's SW then it's no different than do any other SW option to request disabling the wake word. If you want to be sure your device can't listen then you need to unplug it.
    On Google Home it IS a physical switch that actually interrupts the circuit. 

    [image]
    That's photo isn't convincing. I'm not saying it doesn't have a physical switch (I can see that it does), I'm saying that a physical switch doesn't mean that this is an absolute solution without knowing how that logic board is designed. Older devices with physical wires don't obfuscate how the physical interrupt works and remove any chance of a SW bypass.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 33 of 43
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
  • Reply 34 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    I wish physical interrupts, a focus on encryption, and user privacy were common amongst all vendors.
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 35 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,239member
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    Your security comes first in everything we do. If your data is not secure, it is not private. That is why we make sure that Google services are protected by one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. Conversations in Google Home are encrypted by default.
    mac_128
  • Reply 36 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    Your security comes first in everything we do. If your data is not secure, it is not private. That is why we make sure that Google services are protected by one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. Conversations in Google Home are encrypted by default.
    Everyone uses encryption. Hell, even these forums use SSL, but I agree with vadimyuryev that "I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption."
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 37 of 43
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,452member
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    There are people at my office putting tape over the iSight camera on their Macs, because they fear being supped upon. One of the things I really like about the Mac is that the green "on" light is hard wired inline with the camera power. So if the camera is on, so is the green light -- it can't be bypassed via software. Now perhaps they are worried the corporate IT department hacked the wiring and physically bypassed that, but it's highly unlikely. I think I'd feel more comfortable with a light on my smart speaker, so I'd know at a glance whether it's listening or not. That's the one thing I like about my smart TV, the Mic is in the remote, and is only listening when I push the button, with a physical light on the device telling me it's listening. I assume it is wired in series as well, so it can't be hacked via software.
  • Reply 38 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    There are people at my office putting tape over the iSight camera on their Macs, because they fear being supped upon. One of the things I really like about the Mac is that the green "on" light is hard wired inline with the camera power. So if the camera is on, so is the green light -- it can't be bypassed via software. Now perhaps they are worried the corporate IT department hacked the wiring and physically bypassed that, but it's highly unlikely. I think I'd feel more comfortable with a light on my smart speaker, so I'd know at a glance whether it's listening or not. That's the one thing I like about my smart TV, the Mic is in the remote, and is only listening when I push the button, with a physical light on the device telling me it's listening. I assume it is wired in series as well, so it can't be hacked via software.
    As previously stated...

  • Reply 39 of 43
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,239member
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    Your security comes first in everything we do. If your data is not secure, it is not private. That is why we make sure that Google services are protected by one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. Conversations in Google Home are encrypted by default.
    Everyone uses encryption. Hell, even these forums use SSL, but I agree with vadimyuryev that "I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption."
    And that's perfectly proper. Most everyone here understands Apple better than Google and so it would be expected. None of us tend to trust unknowns for the most part.

    ...but what happens here too often is that a feature or action will be mentioned in connection with Apple in some "comparative review" and the assumption based on wording will be it's not something done by Google (or Amazon or Microsoft or whoever). Most of these things are pretty easy to find the facts on if you go looking for them, and it's not even that time-consuming. It would certainly be preferable to spreading misstatements.

     A prime example from recently is Apple promoting that Siri doesn't send anything to Apple servers unless you activate it with Hey Siri. Well that's absolutely correct. They don't. Neither does Google or Amazon, but the inference marketing hopes you make is that Apple is doing so while the others are not, those other guys are "always listening"but we're better than that. It was even implied here in an AI review by a staff member. It happens too often and Google inexplicably ignores the incorrect takeaway rather than taking the opportunity to clarify it. IMHO Google ends up complicit in the spread of FUD buy not getting out there with a much clearer message.
    edited February 2018 mac_128
  • Reply 40 of 43
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,331member
    gatorguy said:
    Soli said:
    gatorguy said:
    gatorguy said:
    The switches don't use hardware to disable the microphone, they just disable the "Ok Google" and "Alexa" commands.
    That's my take on this. 
    Incorrect at least with Google Home. The hardware switch really does turn off the microphone. 100%. You can find teardowns that show the on/off toggle switch physically interrupting the circuit. 

    Mic on/off

    Press the microphone mute button on the back of the device

    "Note: Muting the microphone prevents Google Home from listening or responding..."

    EDIT: And apparently incorrect with regard to Echo too as confirmed in teardowns:
    "There are plenty of teardown videos on YouTube. Basically it is a physical analog connection that cuts off circuit flow to the mic."
    Very interesting, I haven't read on that. If that's true, then bravo to Google and Amazon.

    I feel like what's more important is security while the mic is turned on.

    I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption. 
    Your security comes first in everything we do. If your data is not secure, it is not private. That is why we make sure that Google services are protected by one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. Conversations in Google Home are encrypted by default.
    Everyone uses encryption. Hell, even these forums use SSL, but I agree with vadimyuryev that "I definitely feel more safe with Apple's methods of encryption."
    And that's perfectly proper. Most everyone here understands Apple better than Google and so it would be expected. None of us tend to trust unknowns for the most part.

    ...but what happens here too often is that a feature or action will be mentioned in connection with Apple in some "comparative review" and the assumption based on wording will be it's not something done by Google (or Amazon or Microsoft or whoever). Most of these things are pretty easy to find the facts on if you go looking for them, and it's not even that time-consuming. It would certainly be preferable to spreading misstatements.

     A prime example from recently is Apple promoting that Siri doesn't send anything to Apple servers unless you activate it with Hey Siri. Well that's absolutely correct. They don't. Neither does Google or Amazon, but the inference marketing hopes you make is that Apple is doing so while the others are not, those other guys are "always listening"but we're better than that. It was even implied here in an AI review by a staff member. It happens too often and Google inexplicably ignores the incorrect takeaway rather than taking the opportunity to clarify it. IMHO Google ends up complicit in the spread of FUD buy not getting out there with a much clearer message.
    It's more than just encryption. Apple is also using anonymous ID. Apple has apparently built their system so that even if the gov't wants access to what you've said to your HomePod it won't be able to hand it over because it won't be accessible and any relevant data will have been mushed into a pot for mass analysis. Can Amazon, Google, MS, Samsung, etc. say the same thing?

    That isn't to say that Apple can't do even better or that the others are inherently insecure. There's a huge amount of gray area between a flashing red sign warning you that something is wrong with the setup and the soft glow of green light saying everything is alright forever and ever. With security, gray is typically the best we ever get, and we have to constantly balance between feasibility and complexity. I think Apple did the right thing with making HomeKit very secure -and- did the right thing by easing up on that after it was too difficult for vendors to support, despite also recognizing that Apple overreached due to their focus on security.
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