One Hour With Apple’s New Homepod →


Madeline Buxton, writing for Refinery29:

However, there are some areas where HomePod is limiting. Even though you can use AirPlay to stream music from any service through HomePod, you’ll only get all the speaker’s benefits if you subscribe to Apple Music (plans start at $4.99 per month for students and $9.99 per month for individuals). For example, Siri won’t be able to tell you detailed information about a song or album unless that song is playing through Apple Music.

I strongly believe Apple should have included an Apple Music subscription for free with every HomePod — for the lifetime of the device preferably, but I’m sure a free year wouldn’t go amiss for many. This would at least quell some of the complaints, which we know will surface.

Secondly, although everyone in your apartment will be able to use the speaker, only the person who sets up HomePod on their iCloud account will be able to send texts, set up reminders, and get calendar notifications via voice commands. Google Home and Amazon Echo, meanwhile, can recognize different voices and provide personalized content accordingly.

Support for multiple users should work on Day 1 and there is no excuse for the lack of this feature.

Fortunately, HomePod also delivers where it counts: The sound. When I listened to the speaker next to Google Home Max, the latest Amazon Echo, and Sonos One, the vocals were consistently crisper and clearer on HomePod. The pluck of guitar strings pops, and bass notes have the robust thump-thump you want from them.

This is the one aspect of the HomePod, which I don’t doubt — I’m sure the sound quality will be more than good.

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