Category Archives: HomePod

New Report of a Cheaper Beats Branded HomePod Seems a Little Off

There have been several reports that a less expensive HomePod is coming on the heels of the original’s release earlier this year. While Apple offering a product that costs less than the current HomePod’s $349 seems like a no-brainer at some point, I have already stated my personal opinion that it is too early for Apple to make this move. If Apple doesn’t push Siri and its capabilities to power an intelligent speaker forward first, they risk a more affordable HomePod falling flat. That could really stunt the future potential of their efforts in a category that is still in its infancy.

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Is Now the Right Time for a HomePod Mini?

Based on the impressive sales numbers generated by smaller intelligent speakers such as the Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Home Mini, you might think a HomePod Mini is exactly what Apple should be releasing right now. They should definitely be working on it, and more than likely, such a device has already been prototyped in several potential versions. However, despite the potential for a brief sales boost today, I personally think that Apple should hold off on this move for now.

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HomePod and the Apple Watch: Disconnected

The Apple Watch and HomePod share a connection in that they are the two most recent new hardware platforms released by Apple. Unfortunately, other than having a variant of iOS at their respective cores, this is all they share. What would seem to be an obvious partnership, with the Apple Watch able to play and control music through the HomePod via AirPlay, is currently an oddly disjointed relationship.

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Tips and Tricks: Resetting your Apple Music Listening Preferences

I signed up for Apple Music as soon as it was available to try it out, so I know it pretty well at this point. You would think it knows me by now, but more on that in a moment. I had been using Google Play All-Access before that at a discounted monthly rate, but never was super-impressed with the iOS app or the service’s features. It was a very bare-bones music streaming service at the time, and with my kids getting more interested in listening to music, the ability to add parental controls became a priority.

While Apple Music itself was fine outside of a confusing interface that first year, we did experience one irritating problem. We had set up Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing when it became available in iOS 8, but there were some issues and bugs with it over the course of the first year or so. One of these affected Apple Music Family Plans when the service was released. We tried to set up our kids’ devices to use Apple Music independently with Family Sharing a couple of times within the first few months, with no success. Their iPhones and iPods would not recognize that they should have access to Apple Music when signed on on their iCloud accounts.

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Living with the HomePod: On the Road

The HomePod is really good at a few things. Unfortunately, working in a hotel room with hotel WiFi is NOT one of them. Just like the Apple Watch, that pesky interstitial WiFi login screen trips it up, which I guess shouldn’t be surprising. I’m going to attempt using Personal Hotspot sometime down the road and see if this can be bypassed. Until then, here are a few more observations on Apple’s new toy.

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Living with the HomePod- Settling In

This is day four with my HomePod, and I think I have a pretty good feel for it at this point. We all know the basics- the sound is great, Siri is no so great. However, this is the point where users start coming across more of the details of a device, and the HomePod is no exception. Here are some more observations from the last couple of days of use.

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Tips and Tricks: Disable Explicit Content Playback on HomePod

One of the areas where Apple’s iOS has excelled since early days is in Parental Control options. While others have caught up and Amazon has even passed them when it comes to granular, on-device options, Apple is still at or near the top when it comes to restricting music streaming. In fact, several of their competitors have little to nothing in the way of content ratings restrictions for music.

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Living with the HomePod- Day Two

Today is day two for my testing of Apple’s new HomePod. While most of my time today has been spent playing around with Siri, I have plenty of additional observations on music playback, as well.

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Living with the HomePod- Day One

I was a little late getting started with my HomePod yesterday. I was in Boston for meetings all week, and my plane didn’t get in until 8:15 last night. By the time my family picked me up and we got home and I unpacked, it was getting late and I was beat. I did set it up and listened to a little bit of music, but my wife had to work today and needed to turn in, so I turned it off after a few minutes and got some sleep myself.

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With the HomePod Arriving Tomorrow, Thoughts on its Future and Siri Abound

With the HomePod arriving tomorrow for those who preordered, there is even more talk about what the future holds for this new Apple hardware platform and also about what Siri can and can’t do on the device. The initial reviews have been almost uniformly glowing over the speaker’s sound quality, but not so over Siri’s very noticeable limitations. I won’t get my hands on mine until late tomorrow evening when I return home from Boston, but I am certainly looking forward to trying it out for myself.

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The Reasoning Behind the HomePod’s Design and Marketing is Surprisingly Simple

I’ve seen an interesting combination of concern, complaints, dismissiveness, and derision over the HomePod across Twitter, Apple blogs, and tech sites over the past few days. The preorder and announcement of the final release date for the device, as well as a lack of any other substantive Apple news at the moment seem to have stoked the fires of discussion and opinion.

I can understand many of the reasons, and I even agree with many of you that Siri isn’t on par with other digital assistants in many ways, that the HomePod’s high price could be a limiting factor, and that it is showing up more than fashionably late to a fast-moving party. However, despite the concerns and complaints, the reasons behind the design and focus of the HomePod still make sense if you look at Apple’s recent hardware and software efforts.

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