Why Apple's HomePod targets home entertainment, not a voice-first mobile-free world

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    lkrupp said:
    Nothing gets certain bloggers more excited than imagining the death of Apple. Whether it was Microsoft’s Zune or Nvidia's Tegra chips or HP's webOS tablets or Samsung Gear watches or Moto X or Google Pixel, imagining a world where somebody wins and Apple loses has been the burning fantasy for waves of embittered critics who despite all their inflammatory angst just can't seem to ever get their fire to actually start burning.
    This is perhaps the greatest paragraph Mr. Dilger has ever penned. Not only “certain bloggers” but the sycophant lackeys who regurgitate the same venom on a daily basis right here on AI and in this very thread. “Siri sucks” is the battle cry of these puppets. The landscape is littered with the carcasses of products touted as Apple killers. Amazon's Echo product line is just the latest pretender to the throne.
    Except that Amazon's Echo never was intended as an "Apple Killer". Not everything is about Apple, and not every company's products are meant to take them down.

    It's been 10 years since there was any need for the faithful to circle the wagons. Apple is so far above being killed, the richest and most powerful company in the history of the planet, that even writing a sentence that implies it is ridiculous. 
    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Reply 22 of 48
    lolliverlolliver Posts: 457member
    tht said:
    This is the usual DED article that tries to shoot down the low hanging fruit that is hot take journalism, just applied to HomePods. And journalism today has expanded more than ever to a bunch of people “just talking” or doing hot takes, in both written and audio form, so there is a lot of low hanging fruit.

    A lot of the Apple media (bloggers, podcasters) want a voice assistant like an Echo ostensibly from Apple. Apple is pitching the HomePod as a music speaker for iOS users. So, the usual haranguing is ensuing on how Apple is selling an apple while a lot of the Apple bloggers want an orange. DED has a point here, a point in desperate need of an editor to cut the article lengths in half. As product reviewers or commentators, products should be reviewed as they are, not what the reviewer wants them to be. Product success should actually be declared based on actual data.

    It could be that Apple will sell a lot of HomePods, but will ot impact Echo sales because they are doing different jobs and serving different customers. It could be Apple will sell more HomePods than home voice assistant units because the market for a room speaker is bigger than the market for a home voice assistant box. It could be the HomePod will be like the Apple TV, mostly a hobby or defensive product. Who knows, but it’s always nice to push back on the media types on their hot takes.

    Just today, I did a double take while listening to Jason Snell’s Upgrade podcast. He and Myke have no interest for over the ear headphones, so they hardly talked about the over the ear headphone rumors over the past two weeks. They both like their Echos I think. I did a double take because these guys’ main jobs are essentially being podcasters and running a podcast network that covers Apple and pop culture. Ie, their product is audio. Podcast guys that have no interest for over the ear headphones? Or at least have no intellectual curiosity about them? What the what? A lot of their audience may listen to podcasts through over the ear headphones. In fact, the vast majority of their audience likely listens to podcasts through headphones of some type.
    It's at least slightly amusing that the person with the longest comment so far on this article is complaining about the length of the article.
    roundaboutnowrandominternetpersonthtjony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 48
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    asdasd said:
    Also, because siri sucks. 
    Unfortunately, it's by design. In terms  of cause and effect, it's not because Siri sucks, but Siri sucks (argumentatively, it is not bad, but that's the misconception of most people I realise) was the result of Apple's decision to limit user's data mining and to protect user's privacy. Something that are not in common with Amazon and Google for obvious reason.
    asdasdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 48
    stoneygstoneyg Posts: 43member
    Apple has so much money to do whatever it needs to do to make Siri at least competitive with other voice assistants. What the heck is the matter with Apple? Siri could have been on all of Apple's devices over the years.
    One thing I think people forget about with Apple is the sheer scale (rivaled only by Google) that they have to manage with a product like Siri. When you have over a billion devices using a service it can require a lot of additional management resources beyond the 20 million or so devices that Amazon is currently running with Alexa. Add to it the fact that Siri (I believe) understands a lot more languages than Alexa and that's stretches their Siri development even further.

    But on the other side, I agree that if this was really THAT important to Apple, they'd put more into it and improve it faster than they are currently.
    asdasdwatto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 48
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    lkrupp said:
    Nothing gets certain bloggers more excited than imagining the death of Apple. Whether it was Microsoft’s Zune or Nvidia's Tegra chips or HP's webOS tablets or Samsung Gear watches or Moto X or Google Pixel, imagining a world where somebody wins and Apple loses has been the burning fantasy for waves of embittered critics who despite all their inflammatory angst just can't seem to ever get their fire to actually start burning.
    This is perhaps the greatest paragraph Mr. Dilger has ever penned. Not only “certain bloggers” but the sycophant lackeys who regurgitate the same venom on a daily basis right here on AI and in this very thread. “Siri sucks” is the battle cry of these puppets. The landscape is littered with the carcasses of products touted as Apple killers. Amazon's Echo product line is just the latest pretender to the throne.
    Most of us here are consumers of Apple products, we are not cheerleaders of a political party or team. Who do do you think we are puppets of? I ’ve been here since 2003 and an Apple consumer long before that. Heck I’ll probably get the HomePod. However Siri is falling behind the competition in many ways and that’s why HomePod won’t take on Alexa anytime soon. 

    Doesnt mean Apple is doomed but it probably needs another purchase in the AI area. The problem isn’t just recognition (which for me is ok) but search and that’s not a core competency. No amount of long winded essays or fan like behaviour changes that. Luckily Apple itself isn’t internally run like an Apple fan club and somewhere out there an Apple executive has a keynote or pages document listing bullet points where Alexa or Google Now beats Siri. And no doubt they are working to fix it. 


    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 26 of 48
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,073member
    asdasd said:
    lkrupp said:
    Nothing gets certain bloggers more excited than imagining the death of Apple. Whether it was Microsoft’s Zune or Nvidia's Tegra chips or HP's webOS tablets or Samsung Gear watches or Moto X or Google Pixel, imagining a world where somebody wins and Apple loses has been the burning fantasy for waves of embittered critics who despite all their inflammatory angst just can't seem to ever get their fire to actually start burning.
    This is perhaps the greatest paragraph Mr. Dilger has ever penned. Not only “certain bloggers” but the sycophant lackeys who regurgitate the same venom on a daily basis right here on AI and in this very thread. “Siri sucks” is the battle cry of these puppets. The landscape is littered with the carcasses of products touted as Apple killers. Amazon's Echo product line is just the latest pretender to the throne.
    Most of us here are consumers of Apple products, we are not cheerleaders of a political party or team. Who do do you think we are puppets of? I ’ve been here since 2003 and an Apple consumer long before that. Heck I’ll probably get the HomePod. However Siri is falling behind the competition in many ways and that’s why HomePod won’t take on Alexa anytime soon. 

    Doesnt mean Apple is doomed but it probably needs another purchase in the AI area. The problem isn’t just recognition (which for me is ok) but search and that’s not a core competency. No amount of long winded essays or fan like behaviour changes that. Luckily Apple itself isn’t internally run like an Apple fan club and somewhere out there an Apple executive has a keynote or pages document listing bullet points where Alexa or Google Now beats Siri. And no doubt they are working to fix it. 


    Yep, When you spend lots of money on a new Apple phone/iPad or computer you have a right to expect Apple’s Siri to be second to none.

  • Reply 27 of 48
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,073member
    Latko said:
    asdasd said:
    Also, because siri sucks. 
    Pretty decent summary of 18 pages text,
    touching the basics
    asdasd said:
    Also, because siri sucks. 
    Kind of a funny coincidence but Renee Ritchie’s Vector podcast today is 

    084: Fixing 'Siri Sucks' in 5 Painful Steps


    djsherly
  • Reply 28 of 48
    DED's article makes a lot of valid points, but even the Apple faithful are being somewhat critical on certain aspects of the HomePod.

    Jason Snell's review of the HomePod called out the HomePod's touch controls as somewhat poorly designed and he seems to have a point; ditto, his observation about people being okay with music playback on a good enough device, which is now the Echo. His analogy is to AM radio:
    https://sixcolors.com/post/2018/03/homepod-review/

    And, then, there was Stephen Hackett's post on 512pixels.net about how his family gave up on using HomePod in the kitchen because of their frustrations with Siri and went back to the Echo, with the HomePod going into his studio/living room:
    https://512pixels.net/2018/03/a-homepod-intervention/

    Heck, even John Gruber seems to agree with Stephen Hackett and thinks that Apple miscalculated by focusing on audio quality rather than voice assistant smarts.

    It will be interesting to know from Apple's next earnings report how the HomePod fared against Echo et al.
    asdasd
  • Reply 29 of 48
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,843member
    kevin kee said:
    asdasd said:
    Also, because siri sucks. 
    Unfortunately, it's by design. In terms  of cause and effect, it's not because Siri sucks, but Siri sucks (argumentatively, it is not bad, but that's the misconception of most people I realise) was the result of Apple's decision to limit user's data mining and to protect user's privacy. Something that are not in common with Amazon and Google for obvious reason.
    Nope, Siri sucks even when it has nothing to do with data mining. That is a factor for some types of searches, but it has also become quite the excuse for Siri incompetence.

    Gheestarr said:
    Like myself, when I wanted to post this comment, this so-called Apple site didn’t cooperate with auto fill passwords?
    You just have to use the right password manager. :)  Check into Password Wallet by Selznick. It fills in pretty much anything.

    k2kw said:
    Yep, When you spend lots of money on a new Apple phone/iPad or computer you have a right to expect Apple’s Siri to be second to none.
    I don't so much care if Apple has a better voice assistant than Google or Amazon. However, if it works so poorly as to be relatively useless, then I start caring. Currently, Siri can do so little of anything I've ever tried to get 'her' help with, that I tend to not use it anymore.

    DED's article makes a lot of valid points, but even the Apple faithful are being somewhat critical on certain aspects of the HomePod.
    Essentially, though, the article could be summarized by.... 'even if Siri sucks, it still has a much bigger install base.' It's hard to argue with that, I guess. But, Windows had a much bigger install base than Mac, too, which said little about quality. And, if we step back a couple decades, not many would expect Microsoft to be in the position they are now in, nor Apple.

    Too big to fail now has some credence in regard to Apple. But future Apple might not look anything like the Apple we once loved, or even the Apple of today, if they aren't careful.
    avon b7
  • Reply 30 of 48
    igerardigerard Posts: 14member
    Don’t forget that Apple made a lot of investment in AI companies or individuals these last 2 or 3 years.
    obviously they work on this , we need to wait a little bit before viewing the fruit of this effort.
    randominternetpersonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 48
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    DED's article makes a lot of valid points, but even the Apple faithful are being somewhat critical on certain aspects of the HomePod.

    Jason Snell's review of the HomePod called out the HomePod's touch controls as somewhat poorly designed and he seems to have a point; ditto, his observation about people being okay with music playback on a good enough device, which is now the Echo. His analogy is to AM radio:
    https://sixcolors.com/post/2018/03/homepod-review/

    And, then, there was Stephen Hackett's post on 512pixels.net about how his family gave up on using HomePod in the kitchen because of their frustrations with Siri and went back to the Echo, with the HomePod going into his studio/living room:
    https://512pixels.net/2018/03/a-homepod-intervention/

    Heck, even John Gruber seems to agree with Stephen Hackett and thinks that Apple miscalculated by focusing on audio quality rather than voice assistant smarts.

    It will be interesting to know from Apple's next earnings report how the HomePod fared against Echo et al.
    Doesn't match my experience anywhere so I'll call Hackett A LIAR and actually has done none of things he claims to have done
     and I've actually used Alexa and when it comes to the music functions IT IS WORSE. 

    You do know the Homepod is 7 times more expensive huh, Apple only needs to sell about 4-5M during the year to match Amazon's revenues and likely only need to sell less than 1M to match profits.  I'm going to bet they'll sell 10M. So, tell me again how this will be a "mistake", same "mistake" as going against Android and eating 90% of profits... I'm pretty sure they're OK with this kind of "mistake" (sic).
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 48
    cgWerks said:
    Essentially, though, the article could be summarized by.... 'even if Siri sucks, it still has a much bigger install base.' It's hard to argue with that, I guess. But, Windows had a much bigger install base than Mac, too, which said little about quality. And, if we step back a couple decades, not many would expect Microsoft to be in the position they are now in, nor Apple.

    Too big to fail now has some credence in regard to Apple. But future Apple might not look anything like the Apple we once loved, or even the Apple of today, if they aren't careful.
    No that's incorrect. The point of the article is that Apple isn't trying to rival Alexa/Assistant as a voice platform because:
    - Apple (unlike Amazon or Google) isn't desperately trying to create a valuable/useful platform. It already has THE mobile platform that makes money and matters.
    - Voice is of limited utility. useful for some things, but often just a gimmick. It is not a huge priority for Apple because it is not the most useful thing to deliver for users.
    - For this reason, voice is of limited value commercially. Amazon is establishing that the value of a voice-centric WiFi mic is around $50
    - The bullshitter tech media has contrived a false narrative that says the future is 100% voice. This is obvious bullshit, just like the last narrative about bots. 

    If you actually read this article and didn't catch any of that, I pity you. Try opening your brain up to facts rather than just repeating nonsense you've heard a pundit say.

    Apple isn't too big to fail, but neither are Amazon and Google. The fact that you can only imagine Apple failing when it's really Amazon and Google that have failed most spectacularly in delivering things people actually want to buy, says a lot about the insight and value of your comments and explains why you so contemptuously dismiss actual facts when they're laid out in front of you. 

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 48
    cgWerks said:
    Essentially, though, the article could be summarized by.... 'even if Siri sucks, it still has a much bigger install base.' It's hard to argue with that, I guess. But, Windows had a much bigger install base than Mac, too, which said little about quality. And, if we step back a couple decades, not many would expect Microsoft to be in the position they are now in, nor Apple.

    Too big to fail now has some credence in regard to Apple. But future Apple might not look anything like the Apple we once loved, or even the Apple of today, if they aren't careful.
    No that's incorrect. The point of the article is that Apple isn't trying to rival Alexa/Assistant as a voice platform because:
    - Apple (unlike Amazon or Google) isn't desperately trying to create a valuable/useful platform. It already has THE mobile platform that makes money and matters.
    - Voice is of limited utility. useful for some things, but often just a gimmick. It is not a huge priority for Apple because it is not the most useful thing to deliver for users.
    - For this reason, voice is of limited value commercially. Amazon is establishing that the value of a voice-centric WiFi mic is around $50
    - The bullshitter tech media has contrived a false narrative that says the future is 100% voice. This is obvious bullshit, just like the last narrative about bots. 

    If you actually read this article and didn't catch any of that, I pity you. Try opening your brain up to facts rather than just repeating nonsense you've heard a pundit say.

    Apple isn't too big to fail, but neither are Amazon and Google. The fact that you can only imagine Apple failing when it's really Amazon and Google that have failed most spectacularly in delivering things people actually want to buy, says a lot about the insight and value of your comments and explains why you so contemptuously dismiss actual facts when they're laid out in front of you. 

    Way to go DED, demeaning your readers!



    Pundit pretty much describes what you do...

    What you are missing, or refuse to acknowledge, is that Amazon and Google are not selling smart speakers -- these are loss-leaders that enable the user to avail themselves (buy) the products they (and their advertisers) sell... That's where their profit is!
    muthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 34 of 48
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    cgWerks said:
    Essentially, though, the article could be summarized by.... 'even if Siri sucks, it still has a much bigger install base.' It's hard to argue with that, I guess. But, Windows had a much bigger install base than Mac, too, which said little about quality. And, if we step back a couple decades, not many would expect Microsoft to be in the position they are now in, nor Apple.

    Too big to fail now has some credence in regard to Apple. But future Apple might not look anything like the Apple we once loved, or even the Apple of today, if they aren't careful.
    No that's incorrect. The point of the article is that Apple isn't trying to rival Alexa/Assistant as a voice platform because:
    - Apple (unlike Amazon or Google) isn't desperately trying to create a valuable/useful platform. It already has THE mobile platform that makes money and matters.
    - Voice is of limited utility. useful for some things, but often just a gimmick. It is not a huge priority for Apple because it is not the most useful thing to deliver for users.
    - For this reason, voice is of limited value commercially. Amazon is establishing that the value of a voice-centric WiFi mic is around $50
    - The bullshitter tech media has contrived a false narrative that says the future is 100% voice. This is obvious bullshit, just like the last narrative about bots. 

    If you actually read this article and didn't catch any of that, I pity you. Try opening your brain up to facts rather than just repeating nonsense you've heard a pundit say.

    Apple isn't too big to fail, but neither are Amazon and Google. The fact that you can only imagine Apple failing when it's really Amazon and Google that have failed most spectacularly in delivering things people actually want to buy, says a lot about the insight and value of your comments and explains why you so contemptuously dismiss actual facts when they're laid out in front of you. 

    I think in general you are correct on voice. Its not the next big interface ( and AR probably isn't either). Both will be add ons. That is because touch, and keyboards, and screens are more useful interaction devices.. I mean I saw some analyst a few days ago, and it may have been quoting an Amazon executive, saying that 50% of Amazon sales will be voice driven by 2022. No, they won't. The only possible voice driven thing that might be useful is to reorder things ( "Alexa, do the weekly shop") but I shop online and I always change every week. For that I need an interface and a list. I am not going to order anything else via voice. There will be no "Alexa, get me the best laptop". Ill do my research on that, as we all mostly will. Which means looking at reviews, searching online on a web interface etc. 

    However Apple calls this device a HomePod, not a HomeTunes or similar and you would guess by the name that they originally saw it as both a music device and a home hub. Voice is good for playing music, quick questions about the weather and traffic, and controlling the home. The lack of excitement about this device is because Apple haven't integrated HomeKit ( or indeed the Apple TV) as well as they could have, and Alexa is apparently better in the home than Siri, if we are to believe some of the reviews even from bloggers favourable to Apple.
    edited March 2018 muthuk_vanalingamjony0watto_cobracgWerks
  • Reply 35 of 48
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,073member
    cgWerks said:
    Essentially, though, the article could be summarized by.... 'even if Siri sucks, it still has a much bigger install base.' It's hard to argue with that, I guess. But, Windows had a much bigger install base than Mac, too, which said little about quality. And, if we step back a couple decades, not many would expect Microsoft to be in the position they are now in, nor Apple.

    Too big to fail now has some credence in regard to Apple. But future Apple might not look anything like the Apple we once loved, or even the Apple of today, if they aren't careful.
    No that's incorrect. The point of the article is that Apple isn't trying to rival Alexa/Assistant as a voice platform because:


    How do you know that This isn’t Apple’s first step to take on Alexa and Google Now,   But that APPLE DOESN’T want them to realize it.

    A year ago you were basically saying that Siri was poised for great improvements.   

    http://appleinsider.com/articles/17/01/07/is-apple-getting-siri-ous-in-the-face-of-amazons-alexa-echo

     So it’s natural for people to think or expect the Hompod and Siri should work better than the Echo and Siri

    This comes down to is the HomePod ‘s control software more akin to the Apple Watch with its own OS that serves as a platform or is it more like AirPods with the software more dedicated/limited to the hardware.  We won’t know till at least the first Software update to them or WWDC.


    muthuk_vanalingamavon b7
  • Reply 36 of 48
    k2kwk2kw Posts: 2,073member
    igerard said:
    Don’t forget that Apple made a lot of investment in AI companies or individuals these last 2 or 3 years.
    obviously they work on this , we need to wait a little bit before viewing the fruit of this effort.
    Drops in the bucket.
  • Reply 37 of 48
    cgWerks said:
    Essentially, though, the article could be summarized by.... 'even if Siri sucks, it still has a much bigger install base.' It's hard to argue with that, I guess. But, Windows had a much bigger install base than Mac, too, which said little about quality. And, if we step back a couple decades, not many would expect Microsoft to be in the position they are now in, nor Apple.

    Too big to fail now has some credence in regard to Apple. But future Apple might not look anything like the Apple we once loved, or even the Apple of today, if they aren't careful.
    No that's incorrect. The point of the article is that Apple isn't trying to rival Alexa/Assistant as a voice platform because:
    - Apple (unlike Amazon or Google) isn't desperately trying to create a valuable/useful platform. It already has THE mobile platform that makes money and matters.
    - Voice is of limited utility. useful for some things, but often just a gimmick. It is not a huge priority for Apple because it is not the most useful thing to deliver for users.
    - For this reason, voice is of limited value commercially. Amazon is establishing that the value of a voice-centric WiFi mic is around $50
    - The bullshitter tech media has contrived a false narrative that says the future is 100% voice. This is obvious bullshit, just like the last narrative about bots. 

    If you actually read this article and didn't catch any of that, I pity you. Try opening your brain up to facts rather than just repeating nonsense you've heard a pundit say.

    Apple isn't too big to fail, but neither are Amazon and Google. The fact that you can only imagine Apple failing when it's really Amazon and Google that have failed most spectacularly in delivering things people actually want to buy, says a lot about the insight and value of your comments and explains why you so contemptuously dismiss actual facts when they're laid out in front of you. 

    Thanks for the TLDR version of the article (really).  I like your pieces, but some topics aren't that interesting to me that I want to read a long essay.
  • Reply 38 of 48
    I still do not understand the whining over Siri.  That is not what the HomePod is mainly for;  if you like Amazon’s Echo or Google or Microsoft’s whatever, go buy it and stop complaining.  I persnally have no major issues with Siri and i certainly do NOT want a voice assitant that sells me products. Now, if you want to hear some great music, easy to function with incredible sound, buy the HomePod. My bet is that most of the “SiriSucks” whiners are either samsung users or part of the Apple ecosysytem but want it o be something different.  

     Apple does not get it right all the time, and it can certainly do a lot more to break into the entertainment arena. That is a leadership issue and Tim Cook needs to get Cue out of the queue. Also, i have said this many, many times: with all of its cash, Apple can easily afford to create a full blown itunes subscription service that will merge, itunes movies, tv, Apple Music and ibooks, and price it very competitively. So, i love Apple, but i’m not a fan boy who thinks they get it right all the time. No btter way to outdo the competition than to put the cash to work beyond stock buybacks.  And i am an investor as well as a user. Netflix, Amazon and Google would be completely decimated by a surge in spending on these servoces by Apple.  They already beat everyone on hardware (yes, Samsung users), and now its time to up the service game.  Oh, and buying Pandora would immediately add a ton of new users.

    i agree with some of the whiners that Siri could use a tune up as well. But, who amongst us Apple users are really unhappy.  I got my iPhone X, Airpods, iMac, HomePod, Apple TV and i think Apple desrves credit for all of its accomplishments, not just its marginal failures.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 48
    sacto joesacto joe Posts: 895member

    FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt). Disinformation. Propaganda. These are tools of psychological warfare. They are also in widespread use throughout our culture, whether it is in the service of a company or a regime. This is the underbelly kept so long in the dark. This is the cancer attacking all that is healthy.

    What is most frightening about this tool is that those affected/infected far too often refuse to acknowledge that they’ve been victimized. People simply don’t like to admit they’ve been duped, because it makes them look less than intelligent. And sadly, the object of so many of these attacks are the young and thus the most impressionable.

    That is why sites like this, and people like DED and PED (ped30.com), are so essential to the continued health of all that we hold dear. They are warriors against the rot.

    If you read this site, you need to consider what it is really doing here. It is fighting the good fight. It is keeping alive the other side, the side of objective and courteous discourse, the ripping off of the blindfolds, the letting in of air and sunlight to the fetid cesspools of lies and deceipt.

    Good on us! And good on DED, PED, and all their fellow fighters against the rot!

    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 40 of 48
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,467member
    sacto joe said:

    If you read this site, you need to consider what it is really doing here. It is fighting the good fight. It is keeping alive the other side, the side of objective and courteous discourse, the ripping off of the blindfolds, the letting in of air and sunlight to the fetid cesspools of lies and deceipt.

    Good on us! And good on DED, PED, and all their fellow fighters against the rot!


    jony0
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