: Anyone know anything new about the Apple HomePod release??


pm-r
Feb 10th, 2018, 09:25 PM
As the subject says, does anyone know anything new about the revised release date of the Apple HomePod that was supposedly going to be released Feb 9, 2018 in Canada.

No local Apple dealers know and I couldn't find any updated info on the 'net.

Just wondering…what the delay or whatever is happening…???

BReligion
Feb 11th, 2018, 10:32 AM
HomePod was only released in The US, UK and Australia on Feb 9. France and Germany are getting it next.
No release date for Canada.

I don’t know of anyone that wants to risk grabbing one from the US to find it won’t work without a US based Apple ID (unlikely but still a big chunk of change).

BReligion

WCraig
Feb 11th, 2018, 10:36 AM
Canada was never among the initial launch countries. Likely because of the need for Canadian French support of all the new Siri music controls.

Other than that, there are tonnes of initial reviews and first impressions out there on the net.

Apple has really developed an innovative approach. The A8 in the HomePod takes apart the 2 channel stream it is receiving and renders it onto 7 independently-driven tweeters based on the acoustic characteristics of the room as determined via its array of 6 microphones. All in near-real-time. They are using quality components--the woofer has a 20 mm excursion, huge--but software magic lets HomePod punch well above its weight class, so to speak. As a 'smart speaker' they've focused the smarts on the sound output. If you want bar-trivia-quiz answers, stick with the tinny speaker in the Amazon Echo.

Craig

pm-r
Feb 11th, 2018, 06:43 PM
HomePod was only released in The US, UK and Australia on Feb 9.


I was wondering who or why anyone would be spending their big dollars for one and then realized it could be a good solution for an acquaintance/client and her sound problems. But she bought a Play:1 speaker instead.

But now it's been a bit of a planning hassle to get either to work without her upgrading to a more recent iPod Touch or her MacBook, but it looks like the Sonos Controller.app might work. Definitely NOT the Apple HomePod without another huge expenditure.

So much for standardization and compatibility!!! The Sonos doesn't even work with AirPlay, at least not without some plugin for a bit more money, but it needs a newer Mac or iPod to work. Gheese!! :-(

wonderings
Feb 12th, 2018, 09:30 AM
I think the Apple HomePod looks good and I am sure it sounds great but I wonder how limited its uses will be? I recently bought an Amazon Echo as I have Amazon Prime and use the Amazon music service that comes with it. On top of that I can use it for my Nest thermostat and some lights. Beyond that though Amazon has all these "skills" (like apps) you can add. I like old time radio dramas, I look it up in their "app" store and find a whole host of them for every genre. There are trivia games and all sorts of things you can add. You can even ask Alexa to tell you a story and it will play a short story that is well crafted with sound effects.

Is Apple going at this similarly or will this be limited to the few things Apple thinks is what you want and nothing more?

pm-r
Feb 12th, 2018, 03:26 PM
Is Apple going at this similarly or will this be limited to the few things Apple thinks is what you want and nothing more?

From most reports, they produce a nice sound, but for a good price, and the Apple integration is appreciated as long as one has the "latest &greatest" mac and/or idevice, but it's just one more thing to lock one into the Apple Scheme just a bit deeper, and for deep pocket users it seems for the convenience as to what they do or might support.

Being a bit late to the table, I'd think they're going to have to slacken the reins a bit if their Apple HomePod is to be accepted and actually purchased by many users. For many, I expect it's already too late and they are already using a competing and often cheaper device that also does more.



- Patrick
======

wonderings
Feb 12th, 2018, 03:54 PM
From most reports, they produce a nice sound, but for a good price, and the Apple integration is appreciated as long as one has the "latest &greatest" mac and/or idevice, but it's just one more thing to lock one into the Apple Scheme just a bit deeper, and for deep pocket users it seems for the convenience as to what they do or might support.

Being a bit late to the table, I'd think they're going to have to slacken the reins a bit if their Apple HomePod is to be accepted and actually purchased by many users. For many, I expect it's already too late and they are already using a competing and often cheaper device that also does more.



- Patrick
======

I think they need to as well. This would be like an iPhone that has no app store if they do not follow what Amazon is doing. Open it up for developers to create "apps" for the HomePod to make it something that can actually be useful for a wide variety of people.

robert
Feb 12th, 2018, 09:27 PM
Well, for what it is worth, I think the people here are not Apples target audience anymore.
For the last few years people here have been bashing Apple products as useless/dumbed down/extravagant/...
Now, while I do agree that Apple is not meeting MY needs as much as in the 90's, I don't think it deserves all the trash talk posted here.
Having had to upgrade from my beloved "cheese grater" power mac, I realized one important thing.
I am not Apples target audience anymore.
I'm old and driven by how things can work for me to make things easier/faster/more profitable.
My lava lamp days are long gone, in other words.
Apples target is now the 20-30 year old who want/need instant gratification.
They have the disposable income, usually, and the desire for the new/shiny products.
The whole computer industry is changing.
Desktops are being replaced by laptops which are being replaced by tablets.
We've had 25+ years of relative stability but thing they are a changing.
The next 5 years should see great changes like the ones of the early 90's.
One last thing.
Apple products are more expensive, yes.
I've bought them without hesitation for 20+ years regardless.
They have never failed, work seamlessly with each other and saved me countless hours of hassle.
That, to me is worth the price.
Your mileage may vary.

WCraig
Feb 13th, 2018, 09:56 AM
Extensive measurement and testing...

I am speechless. The HomePod actually sounds better than the KEF X300A. If you’re new to the Audiophile world, KEF is a very well respected and much loved speaker company. I actually deleted my very first measurements and re-checked everything because they were so good, I thought I’d made an error. Apple has managed to extract peak performance from a pint sized speaker, a feat that deserves a standing ovation. The HomePod is 100% an Audiophile grade Speaker.

https://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/7wwtqy/apple_homepod_the_audiophile_perspective/

Rene Ritchie from iMore.com refers to it as 'computation audio'. Using the power of the CPU to get better results than the hardware "should" be capable of. Much like Portrait Mode on modern smartphones creates an image that the lens couldn't achieve on its on.

As a speaker, these go well beyond what Amazon, Google and even Sonos are doing with sound reproduction. What astounds me is that despite all this audio processing, virtually none of the reviewers have complained that the HomePod has butchered their favourite song. We all have songs that we know intimately and in great detail. Apple's software magic seems to universally improve the reproduction where there ought to be endless opportunities to maim it!

Apple has really pushed the envelope. And delivered that in a tiny USD $350 package. Truly innovative.

Craig

pm-r
Feb 13th, 2018, 03:21 PM
As a speaker, these go well beyond what Amazon, Google and even Sonos are doing with sound reproduction.


I'd say it's hard to tell from many of the reviews, as some say excellent, some say: passable, fuzzy mids, too bassy, not bassy enough and on and on, and seldom knowing what their source was.

Tidbits did a recent review that's not exactly glowing, at least for their price, so I guess one will have to try them and then judge them for themselves.

That will not be including any of this household members. ;-)

Of course most Canadians will just have to wait some indefinite unknown time to find out — whatever the cause of the holdup is.

I think Apple is restricting their use too much for many to even consider them, plus the fact that they've probably already bought some other brand.

It's almost like the days of buying one of their iPhones and finding it was locked and restricted.

At least it might support AirPlay for some music but not just regular non-apple iTunes music. Come on Apple… really…???

I wonder if and when the HomePod Jailbreaker stuff will arrive. Hmmm… ???? ;-)

wonderings
Feb 13th, 2018, 03:48 PM
I'd say it's hard to tell from many of the reviews, as some say excellent, some say: passable, fuzzy mids, too bassy, not bassy enough and on and on, and seldom knowing what their source was.

Tidbits did a recent review that's not exactly glowing, at least for their price, so I guess one will have to try them and then judge them for themselves.

That will not be including any of this household members. ;-)

Of course most Canadians will just have to wait some indefinite unknown time to find out — whatever the cause of the holdup is.

I think Apple is restricting their use too much for many to even consider them, plus the fact that they've probably already bought some other brand.

It's almost like the days of buying one of their iPhones and finding it was locked and restricted.

At least it might support AirPlay for some music but not just regular non-apple iTunes music. Come on Apple… really…???

I wonder if and when the HomePod Jailbreaker stuff will arrive. Hmmm… ???? ;-)

It would be like buying an original iPhone with no app store in a world of Android phones with a massive app store. The Amazon devices have a "skills" store full of things to expand the uses of your device. From what I have seen the HomePod is just a big music speaker that is connected to your iCloud for calendars and contacts and some weather and news reports. Seems pretty limited although it is the best looking of the bunch in my opinion.

pm-r
Feb 13th, 2018, 04:25 PM
It would be like buying an original iPhone with no app store in a world of Android phones with a massive app store.


May be, but I actually know some people that got caught up in the gotta have an iPhone hype some years ago and actually just use it for some phone calls. :D :rolleyes:

polywog
Feb 14th, 2018, 07:34 AM
It would be like buying an original iPhone with no app store in a world of Android phones with a massive app store. The Amazon devices have a "skills" store full of things to expand the uses of your device.

Both amazon and google have a vested interest in mining any little thing you say to them. Either to push you ads or sell you things. Apple on the other hand, pretty much only wants to sell you their products and services.

Alexa skills are neat, but I don't trust Amazon at all and google even less at least in the context of personal assistant style, always listening devices. Hard to tell exactly what these "skills" do, and what information they phone home with.

BReligion
Feb 14th, 2018, 01:48 PM
Both amazon and google have a vested interest in mining any little thing you say to them. Either to push you ads or sell you things. Apple on the other hand, pretty much only wants to sell you their products and services.

Alexa skills are neat, but I don't trust Amazon at all and google even less at least in the context of personal assistant style, always listening devices. Hard to tell exactly what these "skills" do, and what information they phone home with.

+1 on every point :D

BReligion