Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home: Smart Speaker War

Apple Home Pod

Apple Home Pod

But delays in its production have left Apple trying to play catch-up in the sector, which is now dominated by Amazon's smash hit Echo product, and also features Google's Home device.

Using a variation of a Spotify meme that blew up past year, Sonos trolled Apple on HomePod launch day by calling it the "Fruit Machine" (via Business Insider). Buyers can choose between near-black Space Gray or off-white White versions, each with a glossy top panel containing + and - touch surfaces and a swirling globe of rainbow colors to indicate when Siri's in use.

Say a business trip requires you travel to the Glass Capital of the world. It can't answer as many basic information requests as Google Assistant.

With the Apple HomePod seemingly struggling to compete with the other two speakers on an even footing, it is important to emphasize at this point that this speaker does have its advantages in the Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home war.

For audiophiles, the HomePod is built like a tank with a woofer, a custom amplifier and seven tweeters to provide a rich range of sound, according to reviews from TechCrunch, the Verge and the New York Times. Indeed, it could be argued that the Amazon HomePod is really being marketed as a music playback system with some AI functionality included, rather than the assistant-emphasis that both Amazon and Google have made with their products. But sometimes perhaps too good. They can form a pair that offers real stereo separation that sounded better than any of the solo speakers. Nor can Siri identify your voice as opposed to another family member's voice, something the other assistants can do.

Wait, there's less: On the HomePod, Siri can't place phone calls, read your calendar or hail an Uber.

In line with these concerns over the security of personal data, Apple has developed a comprehensive security protocol that beats at the heart of every Siri request. Amazon's Alexa works with far more.

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"You can't ask Siri to look up a recipe".

If you're building a smart home, the HomePod can control lights, thermostats and locks. But sometimes you just want to turn them off.

The audio quality between the two is very close, though I'd give a slight edge to Apple. If you've already started listening to a favorite podcast on your iPhone, as long as you've got "Listening History" sharing turned on, HomePod will automatically resume wherever you last left off. Each HomePod is associated with one iPhone, even though an entire family might share it.

Note that the $199 Sonos One is able to use Alexa now, is adding Google Assistant support via a software update in the near future, and will have support for streaming music via Apple's upcoming AirPlay 2, as well. Many people suffer from bad speakers built into thin TV sets.

Again, Apple's insistence on forcing its users into its walled garden limits the device's appeal (you better make sure you're ready to cough up for an Apple Music subscription to get the most out of the HomePod, for example).

"Compared to Alexa, Siri sounds horrid", Pocket-Lint wrote.

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