Items tagged with homepod

It's bad enough we have to worry about sharks with frickin' laser beams attached, but now we have to be vigilant against the threat lasers present to smart home speakers and other devices with digital assistants. How so? Security researchers at the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo and at the University of Michigan warn that relatively cheap laser points can be modded to inject inaudible and invisible commands into voice assistants. This method of hacking affects all of the popular voice assistants, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Facebook Portal. "The implications of injecting unauthorized voice commands vary in severity based on the type of commands that... Read more...
Apple yesterday announced its new AirPods Pro along with an iOS 13.2 update that adds support for the wireless earbuds. At the same time, the company also released tvOS 13.2 and the 13.2 update for the HomePod. Unfortunately, the latter update has turned into living hell for many HomePod users. There have been numerous reports that the software update has bricked their devices, and Apple has gathered enough evidence on these widespread reports to pull the update. In one particular reddit discussion thread, this is how the general problem is described: So the update in the beginning pretty much killed Apple Music for me, so I went to unpair it/remove from the home app. Now I have... Read more...
When Apple announced the iPhone 11/iPhone Pro, seventh-generation iPad and Apple Watch Series 5 yesterday, there was no mention made about one of its lesser-known products: the HomePod. The HomePod is Apple's answer to the Google Home and Amazon Echo family of smart speakers, but hasn't been nearly as successful in the marketplace -- likely due to its exorbitant price tag (Apple cut its price from $349 to $299 back in April). With that being said, Apple does have a few updates in store for the HomePod which were further confirmed via the official product page for the device. One of the biggest additions is support for multiple users. Instead of the HomePod being tied to just one person's... Read more...
In an apparent effort to stay competitive in the smart speaker war, Apple today clipped $50 off the price of its HomePod, bringing the cost down from $349 to now $299. The new price applies to both the White and Space Gray models. For those who are interested, the $50 savings negates the cost of adding an AppleCare+ warranty, which is an additional $39 charge. Apple is not exactly known for slashing prices on its products without a new model being announced. It's possible that a HomePod 2 is on the horizon, but more likely, Apple is trying to bolster sales and be more competitive in an increasingly crowded field, albeit one that is dominated by Amazon and Google (in that order). Up to this point,... Read more...
No one thought that it would be easy to take on Amazon in the smart speaker market; after all, the company got the jump on the competition with its first Echo in late 2014. However, if any company stood a chance against Amazon, it was Google, and the newest numbers from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) show that to be somewhat true. According to CIRP's analysis of the U.S. market, there was a total installed base of 66 million smart speakers during Q4 2018. Of that total, Amazon accounted for a commanding 70 percent of installs with its Echo family of smart speakers according to the research firm.  The Google Home family of smart speakers was... Read more...
Apple fans who have been jealous that Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers have been steep getting discounts this holiday season have something to be happy about. B&H Photo and Video has a deal going right now on the Apple HomePod speaker that sees a brand new unit in white or gray colors offered for less than the refurbished price direct from Apple. B&H is offering a holiday savings of $100 off on Apple HomePod speakers. B&H has a limited supply of HomePod speakers available in Space Gray or White colors for $249 instead of the normal $349 price. The biggest caveat to the B&H deal is that right now it is out of stock on both HomePod colors. However, the authorized Apple... Read more...
Apple has not said a whole lot about its future plans for its HomePod smart speaker, but it's a safe bet that the company is continually working to improve the device. Otherwise, it will get left behind competitive offers, namely Amazon's Echo products and Google's Home smart speaker. So what might be in store for the HomePod? One of the rumored features headed to Apple's smart speaker is the ability to make phone calls. While nothing of the sort has been announced, French-language website iGeneration claims that speakerphone capabilities are headed to the HomePod with the Apple's iOS 12 update (currently in beta). As it goes, the user's smartphone would handle the grunt work of a phone call,... Read more...
iOS 11.4 is rolling out to iPhone and the iPad today, and it will bring with it support for Messages in the Cloud and AirPlay 2 (among other things). The first feature will allow all of your text messages and iMessages (which can often be quite large in size) via iCloud. The latter is a bigger deal for those with multi-room audio setups in their home. AirPlay 2 will allow you to, for example, sync the HomePod in your kitchen with the HomePod in your upstairs loft, allowing you to enjoy the same music as you move through different areas of your home. Not only can you use AirPlay 2 to sync between multiple HomePods, but you can also sync your HomePod with other AirPlay 2-enabled devices... Read more...
We are now just two weeks shy of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which means that new product and service announcements from the Cupertino company are right around the corner. So, what can we expect out of WWDC? Some users posed that question to Siri, and surprisingly the digital assistant obliged with some interesting answers teasing what might be in store. One of the things Siri revealed is that the digital assistant is getting a "brand new voice." It's not clear if that means a new voice option, as in a different accent, or more likely if Siri will simply sound different after WWDC. As useful as Siri can be, the software still sounds a little robotic. In contrast, the... Read more...
There are rumblings from one of Apple's suppliers that the company is supposedly planning to release a new HomePod model with Beats branding attached to it. You might recall that Apple acquired Beats for a whopping $3.2 billion just over four years ago, though for the most part is hasn't really integrated the popular brand into its other products and services. Perhaps that's about to change. We're taking the rumor with a dose of skepticism, though as the story goes, the new HomePod model with Beats branding is to be priced at $199. That's significantly cheaper than Apple's current HomePod, which sells for $349 on its website and is available in white or space gray. It's not entirely clear how... Read more...
If you have been looking forward to getting an Apple-branded smart speaker in your home, the HomePod is now up for pre-order. HomePod will sell for $349, making it much more expensive than the competing products on the market already. As of this writing the ship date for from the device is listed as February 9. Apple will sell you an AppleCare+ plan for two years of tech support and accidental damage coverage for $39 per HomePod, although we don't really see the need for such protection for a device that will likely be sitting on a piece of furniture collecting dust for the majority of its life. To setup the HomePod, you do need an iPhone 5S or later, iPad Pro, iPad 5th generation, iPad Air or... Read more...
It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for Apple's HomePod AI smart speaker, but it appears that calmer waters lie ahead. Apple announced today that the HomePod will be available in stores beginning February 9th. The HomePod was originally supposed to launch in December 2017, but Apple couldn't meet that original deadline. “We can’t wait for people to experience HomePod, Apple’s breakthrough wireless speaker for the home, but we need a little more time before it’s ready for our customers," said Apple in a mid-November statement. "We’ll start shipping in the US, UK and Australia in early 2018.” Customers will have their first crack at preordering a HomePod on... Read more...
When Apple first announced its HomePod smart speaker in June of last year, the company said it would be available to purchase starting in December, initially in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Well, December has come and gone and we are not into early 2018, which is the new launch time frame listed on the HomePod's product page. To go along with that, the FCC has made public documents Apple filed with the agency, suggesting a release is imminent. The documents are actually dated September 27, but have just now been released. That being the case, the hardware likely has not changed in the past several months, with the HomePod now polished up and gearing for retail availability.... Read more...
Amazon is the king of AI smart speakers. The company arguably created the category with the release of the Echo in 2014, and expanded it greatly with the introduction of the cheaper Echo Dot and a host of other Echo-branded devices. The 2017 holiday shopping season was the biggest yet for Amazon, and devices like the Echo Dot once again proved to be hot items with customers. In fact, the Echo Dot was the best-selling Amazon-branded hardware device during the holiday season, with Amazon going to state that it was "the best-selling product from any manufacturer in any category across all of Amazon, with millions sold". The Echo Dot has been priced at $29.99 for the past month or so (and even cheaper... Read more...
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