Video: Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo 2nd generation

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  • Reply 21 of 38
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    edited February 2018 StrangeDays
  • Reply 22 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,711member
    MacPro said:
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    No Android user should have a HomePod. It's not fit for purpose. 

    ...unless of course you also use an iDevice (which is not all that uncommon in tech circles) but even then there's a better all-around choice with more connectivity and function. The HomePod is a good match if you're all-in to Apple, all-in to Apple Music, and want a great sounding small speaker. Otherwise not so much, at least for now or with the first gen version. 
    edited February 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 23 of 38
    MacPro said:
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    If Apple wants to position it as just a great speaker to play Apple Music, then that's fine. But it has got to have a radio then. BBC Radio 1 has over 6 million listeners for their morning show., Capital London and Kiss each 1 million. I am one of them and as much as I would prefer to throw away the crappy Echo, at least it knows what I mean when I say "Play BBC Radio 1" as I sleepwalk into the kitchen at 6:30 for my first cup of coffee.

    (also, I think Apple positioning it s just a great speaker is the equivalent of having positioned the original iPhone as just a great phone)
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 24 of 38
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,134member
    Apple has marketed the HomePod as a Music Speaker and not a Digital Assistant like the other company's have been marketing theirs. It shows!!! Apple has really limited what this speaker can do Siri wise!!!

    Having a Amazon Dot and a Google Mini to personally play around with, I know the pros an cons of them all. Alexa is far from perfect. In fact I think Siri is better. Not HomePod version of Siri. Apple has really limited Siri on that.

    The biggest problem with all of these devices for me is they are locked into a room by a power cord. For me, the Apple Watch is the best device. It works everywhere I'm at. Including in the garage and outside in the front yard and back yard and away from home, where you're generally aren't going to have these things located. I don't want my house littered with them. It's one of the reasons I got the Ecobee 4. To have Alexa yet be out of the way, mounted on the wall and part of something I actually needed.

    My Apple Watch can do anything, these smart Speakers can do as a personal assistant, and I think does a better job. The only thing it can't do is play music though it's speaker. Not that I would want it to. None of these speakers play the best sound. They're still limited by speaker size. I'll use one of my iOS devices and just AirPlay to my Yamaha surround sound receiver which is going to much larger speakers and SUB. I can use whatever music service I want. I can't Siri voice control like you could with a Smart Speaker, but that's OK.

    I do have to say that my Google Mini sounds a lot better than the Amazon Dot!!! I got both of them for $30 each. Alexa though is over rated. Lots of crap SKILLS you'll never use. To even use, you first have to install it. Then remember exactly how to talk to Alexa to make it work, otherwise it's cluleless.
    h2p
  • Reply 25 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,711member
    jbdragon said:. 

    The biggest problem with all of these devices for me is they are locked into a room by a power cord.
    Actually they're not. Bose for instance has a portable battery-powered and outdoor-compatible Assistant-enabled smart speaker, and so does JVC. I think there are others as well, those are the two that I could think of off the top of my head.
  • Reply 26 of 38
    I've seen all these comparisons between the HomePod and Sonos One where they say they both sound good but the HomePod is a bit better. I listened to a Sonos One for the first time last weekend and it was OK. Good for a small speaker, but not good in the absolute sense. So, I'm really really hoping the HomePod is a lot better and surprises me despite the reviews.
  • Reply 27 of 38
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,692member
    sflagel said:
     Of course I use Apple Music, I am on AI after all! HomePod sounds fantastic, I love it! The one limitation that it has, it plays no radio. That makes it useless for the kitchen or the bedroom. Sometimes, I just want to listen to local radio.  So with a heavy heart, I will take it back to return it this weekend. 
    This brings up a question about HomePod abilities: Can it play Internet radio stations?  Most local radio stations now have Internet streams that you can easily access with a browser.  My Libratone ZIpp let's you access some of my local radio stations via the Libratone app.  I suppose you could stream one on a Mac and then send Airplay audio to HomePod. 

    Looked it up - HomePod does not offer a way to stream Internet radio. I did learn there are stand alone apps just for this purpose that you can Airplay to HomePod. Like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radio-air-listen-to-music/id855368746?mt=8
  • Reply 28 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,943member
    gatorguy said:
    bluefire1 said:
    I own both devices. The HomePod sounds great, but needs a number of software updates to compete more effectively. For example, I can find out from Alexa what's on my (Apple) calendar today; but can't yet do that with HomePod. I'm sure, in time, that Apple will equal or beat Amazon's Echo devices, but for now, it depends on what an owner's priorities are. If your priority is music, HomePod is unbeatable.
    I just can’t imagine the scenario where I’m at home but can’t get to my Mac or iPhone or iPad or Watch to “find out what’s on my schedule” (spoiler: nothing). Why would I need to ask my music speaker to recite my schedule?

    Yeah sure it can’t do some of these things and why can’t it. But IRL I’m just not seeing the value add, when I have screens everywhere. Screens that don’t playback music well at all...which is the purpose of the HP. 
    Because it's far more convenient? Saying simply "Start my Day" prompts Google Home to read me any daily reminders I've set (this morning was "remember to take out the garbage"), reads off my calendar events, the traffic conditions on the way to work, the weather for today and then the top news events, all while I'm getting dressed or eating breakfast. What's not to like about that? Doing so from your iPhone or Watch or Mac requires active steps and more of them.

    And to be honest I don't ever recall playing music while getting ready for work or cooking breakfast. Some folks may, my wife being one of them on occasion (not typically), but in a master bath music always seems to sound pretty good even with a cheap speaker in the corner. I have that one linked to a better bedroom speaker and able to be called up as a play group if she wants music in the master suite matched to the bath.
    Yeah no. I can glance at my iPhone widgets screen and get all the same info in a few seconds. I do this after grabbing it off the night stand, perhaps having just shut off my morning alarm. In no way is waiting for a slow spoken voice more convenient or efficient than reading.

    Since you don't actually have an iPhone, Watch (or Mac?), I'll detail the steps to do it on an iPhone:

    - raise phone
    - swipe left
    - review

    As for asking for this info from you speaker while listening to music, I agree this is again quite useless. The HP is for listening to music and why would I want to interrupt it to ask for a slowly spoken list of my day? Makes no sense. As was being discussed, the question I raised was: "Why would I need to ask my music speaker to recite my schedule?"

    People just trying to fault the HP for a job it's not positioned to do. 
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 29 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,943member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    No Android user should have a HomePod. It's not fit for purpose. 

    ...unless of course you also use an iDevice (which is not all that uncommon in tech circles) but even then there's a better all-around choice with more connectivity and function. The HomePod is a good match if you're all-in to Apple, all-in to Apple Music, and want a great sounding small speaker. Otherwise not so much, at least for now or with the first gen version. 
    Nope, you don't need Apple Music to leverage the maximum value from a HomePod. Full voice controls are available to iTunes Match and also your iTunes purchase history. Using these or AM is also what allows you to dump your entire library into your iCloud Music Library for streaming any of your stuff from any device. 

    In addition, being an AirPlay endpoint for any source of audio you want is an entire product category on its own, and has been for years.

    How do you playback your iCloud Music Library on an Echo?
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 30 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,943member

    sflagel said:
    MacPro said:
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    If Apple wants to position it as just a great speaker to play Apple Music, then that's fine. But it has got to have a radio then. BBC Radio 1 has over 6 million listeners for their morning show., Capital London and Kiss each 1 million. I am one of them and as much as I would prefer to throw away the crappy Echo, at least it knows what I mean when I say "Play BBC Radio 1" as I sleepwalk into the kitchen at 6:30 for my first cup of coffee.

    (also, I think Apple positioning it s just a great speaker is the equivalent of having positioned the original iPhone as just a great phone)
    You can think whatever you like, but that doesn't change how it is positioned -- as a music speaker as the primary use case. It's not billed as a platform.
  • Reply 31 of 38
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 7,943member

    welshdog said:
    sflagel said:
     Of course I use Apple Music, I am on AI after all! HomePod sounds fantastic, I love it! The one limitation that it has, it plays no radio. That makes it useless for the kitchen or the bedroom. Sometimes, I just want to listen to local radio.  So with a heavy heart, I will take it back to return it this weekend. 
    This brings up a question about HomePod abilities: Can it play Internet radio stations?  Most local radio stations now have Internet streams that you can easily access with a browser.  My Libratone ZIpp let's you access some of my local radio stations via the Libratone app.  I suppose you could stream one on a Mac and then send Airplay audio to HomePod. 

    Looked it up - HomePod does not offer a way to stream Internet radio. I did learn there are stand alone apps just for this purpose that you can Airplay to HomePod. Like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radio-air-listen-to-music/id855368746?mt=8
    As a standard AirPlay speaker, you can beam any internet radio stream to it from your source app as normal. (Odd that some of you have never heard of let alone used an AirPlay wifi speaker before, despite them being a thing for years). This is not new stuff.
    h2p
  • Reply 32 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,711member
    gatorguy said:
    bluefire1 said:
    I own both devices. The HomePod sounds great, but needs a number of software updates to compete more effectively. For example, I can find out from Alexa what's on my (Apple) calendar today; but can't yet do that with HomePod. I'm sure, in time, that Apple will equal or beat Amazon's Echo devices, but for now, it depends on what an owner's priorities are. If your priority is music, HomePod is unbeatable.
    I just can’t imagine the scenario where I’m at home but can’t get to my Mac or iPhone or iPad or Watch to “find out what’s on my schedule” (spoiler: nothing). Why would I need to ask my music speaker to recite my schedule?

    Yeah sure it can’t do some of these things and why can’t it. But IRL I’m just not seeing the value add, when I have screens everywhere. Screens that don’t playback music well at all...which is the purpose of the HP. 
    Because it's far more convenient? Saying simply "Start my Day" prompts Google Home to read me any daily reminders I've set (this morning was "remember to take out the garbage"), reads off my calendar events, the traffic conditions on the way to work, the weather for today and then the top news events, all while I'm getting dressed or eating breakfast. What's not to like about that? Doing so from your iPhone or Watch or Mac requires active steps and more of them.

    And to be honest I don't ever recall playing music while getting ready for work or cooking breakfast. Some folks may, my wife being one of them on occasion (not typically), but in a master bath music always seems to sound pretty good even with a cheap speaker in the corner. I have that one linked to a better bedroom speaker and able to be called up as a play group if she wants music in the master suite matched to the bath.
    Yeah no. I can glance at my iPhone widgets screen and get all the same info in a few seconds. I do this after grabbing it off the night stand, perhaps having just shut off my morning alarm. In no way is waiting for a slow spoken voice more convenient or efficient than reading.

    Since you don't actually have an iPhone, Watch (or Mac?), I'll detail the steps to do it on an iPhone:

    - raise phone
    - swipe left
    - review

    As for asking for this info from you speaker while listening to music, I agree this is again quite useless. The HP is for listening to music and why would I want to interrupt it to ask for a slowly spoken list of my day? Makes no sense. As was being discussed, the question I raised was: "Why would I need to ask my music speaker to recite my schedule?"

    People just trying to fault the HP for a job it's not positioned to do. 
    Wow and you get all that with a single swipe of your Apple Watch: Your appointments for today, all your reminders, the traffic to work, the weather that's expected and the latest news!! I mean other than not being able to do anything else while staring at that little screen it sounds just like what "Start my Day" on a smart speaker. I had no idea....
    Gosh are you being honest, your smartwatch does all that with a single swipe? Hey thanks for educating me. 
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 33 of 38
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,711member
    gatorguy said:
    MacPro said:
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    No Android user should have a HomePod. It's not fit for purpose. 

    ...unless of course you also use an iDevice (which is not all that uncommon in tech circles) but even then there's a better all-around choice with more connectivity and function. The HomePod is a good match if you're all-in to Apple, all-in to Apple Music, and want a great sounding small speaker. Otherwise not so much, at least for now or with the first gen version. 
    Nope, you don't need Apple Music to leverage the maximum value from a HomePod. Full voice controls are available to iTunes Match and also your iTunes purchase history. Using these or AM is also what allows you to dump your entire library into your iCloud Music Library for streaming any of your stuff from any device. 

    In addition, being an AirPlay endpoint for any source of audio you want is an entire product category on its own, and has been for years.

    How do you playback your iCloud Music Library on an Echo?
    Ummm. YUP.
    For an Android user the HomePod is not fit for purpose just like I said to the OP when he brought up Android and HomePod. Basically useless as even a dumb speaker. As far as using an Echo and Apple Music just stream it over bluetooth silly.  You'll have a lot more success using Amazon Alexa or Google Home with an iPhone than you will trying to use a HomePod on Android. 

    https://www.imore.com/google-home-vs-amazon-echo
    edited February 2018
  • Reply 34 of 38
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 591member
    welshdog said:
    sflagel said:
     Of course I use Apple Music, I am on AI after all! HomePod sounds fantastic, I love it! The one limitation that it has, it plays no radio. That makes it useless for the kitchen or the bedroom. Sometimes, I just want to listen to local radio.  So with a heavy heart, I will take it back to return it this weekend. 
    This brings up a question about HomePod abilities: Can it play Internet radio stations?  Most local radio stations now have Internet streams that you can easily access with a browser.  My Libratone ZIpp let's you access some of my local radio stations via the Libratone app.  I suppose you could stream one on a Mac and then send Airplay audio to HomePod. 

    Looked it up - HomePod does not offer a way to stream Internet radio. I did learn there are stand alone apps just for this purpose that you can Airplay to HomePod. Like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radio-air-listen-to-music/id855368746?mt=8
    Yes, I can AirPlay TuneIn or other App, but that defeats the purpose.
  • Reply 35 of 38
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 591member

    sflagel said:
    MacPro said:
    Let me think .... do I want a great sounding speaker, no let me correct that ... an unbelievably, insanely great sounding speaker or another voice assistant as well as the one in my iPhone and or iPad, one of which is needed to have a HomePod in the first place.  I have to wonder of all the negative (as in I own both and thus am qualified to be critical) posters who claim to own a HomePod realize they can't run one without an iPhone or iPad?  Color me suspicious of posters who are obviously Android users claiming they have a HomePod!
    If Apple wants to position it as just a great speaker to play Apple Music, then that's fine. But it has got to have a radio then. BBC Radio 1 has over 6 million listeners for their morning show., Capital London and Kiss each 1 million. I am one of them and as much as I would prefer to throw away the crappy Echo, at least it knows what I mean when I say "Play BBC Radio 1" as I sleepwalk into the kitchen at 6:30 for my first cup of coffee.

    (also, I think Apple positioning it s just a great speaker is the equivalent of having positioned the original iPhone as just a great phone)
    You can think whatever you like, but that doesn't change how it is positioned -- as a music speaker as the primary use case. It's not billed as a platform.
    Zat is wat I said.
    h2p
  • Reply 36 of 38
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 591member

    welshdog said:
    sflagel said:
     Of course I use Apple Music, I am on AI after all! HomePod sounds fantastic, I love it! The one limitation that it has, it plays no radio. That makes it useless for the kitchen or the bedroom. Sometimes, I just want to listen to local radio.  So with a heavy heart, I will take it back to return it this weekend. 
    This brings up a question about HomePod abilities: Can it play Internet radio stations?  Most local radio stations now have Internet streams that you can easily access with a browser.  My Libratone ZIpp let's you access some of my local radio stations via the Libratone app.  I suppose you could stream one on a Mac and then send Airplay audio to HomePod. 

    Looked it up - HomePod does not offer a way to stream Internet radio. I did learn there are stand alone apps just for this purpose that you can Airplay to HomePod. Like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radio-air-listen-to-music/id855368746?mt=8
    As a standard AirPlay speaker, you can beam any internet radio stream to it from your source app as normal. (Odd that some of you have never heard of let alone used an AirPlay wifi speaker before, despite them being a thing for years). This is not new stuff.
    Correct, old stuff. So when Apple comes out with a speaker but to play the most basic of things, radio, you still need to use old tech, that, for me, is a big gap. I can only imagine they do not want to partner with TuneIn because they do not want to do exclusives (either all Apps or none) and for now it is "none". And they do not want to offer their own streaming radio service as it would compete with  Beats One. The problems of big corporations.
  • Reply 37 of 38
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,692member
    sflagel said:
    welshdog said:
    sflagel said:
     Of course I use Apple Music, I am on AI after all! HomePod sounds fantastic, I love it! The one limitation that it has, it plays no radio. That makes it useless for the kitchen or the bedroom. Sometimes, I just want to listen to local radio.  So with a heavy heart, I will take it back to return it this weekend. 
    This brings up a question about HomePod abilities: Can it play Internet radio stations?  Most local radio stations now have Internet streams that you can easily access with a browser.  My Libratone ZIpp let's you access some of my local radio stations via the Libratone app.  I suppose you could stream one on a Mac and then send Airplay audio to HomePod. 

    Looked it up - HomePod does not offer a way to stream Internet radio. I did learn there are stand alone apps just for this purpose that you can Airplay to HomePod. Like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radio-air-listen-to-music/id855368746?mt=8
    Yes, I can AirPlay TuneIn or other App, but that defeats the purpose.
    Yes it does, but I wanted to be sure you knew there were options - even if they are not convenient. I think what you describe would be great, asking Siri to "tune" a radio station.  Of course that gets in the way of Apple making money from us via Apple Music.
  • Reply 38 of 38
    welshdogwelshdog Posts: 1,692member

    welshdog said:
    sflagel said:
     Of course I use Apple Music, I am on AI after all! HomePod sounds fantastic, I love it! The one limitation that it has, it plays no radio. That makes it useless for the kitchen or the bedroom. Sometimes, I just want to listen to local radio.  So with a heavy heart, I will take it back to return it this weekend. 
    This brings up a question about HomePod abilities: Can it play Internet radio stations?  Most local radio stations now have Internet streams that you can easily access with a browser.  My Libratone ZIpp let's you access some of my local radio stations via the Libratone app.  I suppose you could stream one on a Mac and then send Airplay audio to HomePod. 

    Looked it up - HomePod does not offer a way to stream Internet radio. I did learn there are stand alone apps just for this purpose that you can Airplay to HomePod. Like this: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/radio-air-listen-to-music/id855368746?mt=8
    As a standard AirPlay speaker, you can beam any internet radio stream to it from your source app as normal. (Odd that some of you have never heard of let alone used an AirPlay wifi speaker before, despite them being a thing for years). This is not new stuff.
    I am aware of AirPlay as I mentioned using it in my first paragraph.  Using AirPlay is not the same as the HomePod finding radio stations on it's own.
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