Published: Thu, January 25, 2018
Industry | By Faith Ward

Apple's HomePod Will Finally Be Available On February 9

Apple's HomePod Will Finally Be Available On February 9

Apple announced in a press release today that the HomePod will be released february 9. But like we said, the HomePod is pretty expensive if you factor in speakers offered by other tech companies. However, Apple has yet to confirm a Middle East price for the HomePod. The device is Apple's answer to the existing smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

In anticipation of the Apple HomePod's upcoming launch, some of the features of the smart speaker have been revealed - one of which helps users maintain some semblance of privacy. Amazon invented the category in 2015 with its line of Echo speakers, and there are now similar options available from Google and Microsoft. Amazon and Google cut prices on their entry-level speakers in an aggressive push for market share, analysts said.

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The HomePod is powered by Apple's A8 chip, and it is equipped with advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters and a high-excursion woofer. It was late to market, faced established companies that had a huge head start, cost more than the competition and was locked in to Apple's music offerings. The Apple HomePod has a cylindric shape and it weighs 2 kg and a half. With an array of six microphones, HomePod can hear "Hey Siri" from across the room, even when loud music is playing. Last week, International Business Times reported that the HomePod was delayed because Apple still needed time for "fine-tuning" the device's software and hardware integration.

The device claims to utilise spatial awareness, and by determining its place in the room adjusts its audio for the best sound. The update will also enable users to automatically transfer their Apple ID, music, Siri, and WiFi settings to the HomePod, which is set to start shipping preordered devices starting February 9. Not only that, Siri on HomePod will enable users to send messages; set a timer or alarm; search and play a podcast; and give you the news, sport, traffic and weather. HomePod can also be used a veritable nerve center for the smart home, interacting with the user's smartphone to control accessories connected via HomeKit, for example, from lighting to blinds. With HomePod, only after "Hey Siri" is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.

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