Apple HomePod, the smart wireless speaker from Apple, arrives in stores beginning Friday, February 9 and is available to order online this Friday, January 26 in the US, UK and Australia. HomePod will be available in France and Germany this spring.
Using just your voice, it’s easy and fun to use, and works together with an Apple Music subscription for a music experience, providing access to one of the largest cloud music libraries. Siri, which is now being actively used on over half a billion devices, has developed a deep knowledge of music and understands your preferences and tastes.
And with Siri, HomePod can send a message, set a timer, play a podcast, check the news, sports, traffic and weather, and even control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories.
Measuring just under 7-inches, HomePod utilises advanced software for real-time acoustic modelling, audio beam-forming, echo cancellation and is powered by Apple’s A8 chip.
The smart speaker uses spatial awareness to sense its location in the room and then automatically adjusts the audio to sound fuller, irrespective of the placement.
HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters and an array of six microphones to hear “Hey Siri” from across the room, even when loud music is playing.
Simply hold an iPhone next to HomePod and it’s ready to start playing music in seconds. The Siri waveform appears on the top to indicate when Siri is engaged, and integrated touch controls also allow easy navigation.
HomePod is also designed to work with an Apple Music subscription allowing users access to hundreds of genres, moods and activities. Using Siri, HomePod can handle advanced searches within Apple Music’s catalogue, so users can ask questions like, “Hey Siri, when was this song released?” or “Hey Siri, can you play something totally different?” to change the mood.
With support for HomeKit, HomePod can control hundreds of home accessories or set scenes like, “Hey Siri, I’m home,” to control a number of different accessories at the same time. HomePod can turn on the lights, raise the shades, set the desired temperature or make other adjustments and serves as the perfect home hub, enabling remote access and automations.
Through SiriKit, HomePod supports third-party messaging apps, so users can ask Siri to send a message to a friend or colleague using apps like WhatsApp. Reminders, note-taking and to-do list apps like Things and Evernote will automatically work with HomePod, so Siri can set reminders, create a new list, mark items as complete, or create and modify notes.
For a secure experience, HomePod, only after “Hey Siri” is recognised locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.
HomePod is available at an Apple retail price of $349 (US) in white and space grey in the US, UK and Australia. HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air or later, iPad mini 2 or later, or iPod touch (6th generation) with iOS 11.2.5 or later.
“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,” said Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Apple.