“If it were only a question of quality, Apple’s HomePod, which, after a months-long delay finally ships on February 9, should be an unqualified success,” Lance Ulanoff writes for Medium. “Its audio quality is excellent, especially considering its size.”

“Using the trigger phrase “Hey Siri,” HomePod responded to a variety of common Siri questions, activated HomeKit-enabled smart device tasks, and launched Siri-driven tasks, most revolving around Apple Music,” Ulanoff writes. “Put simply, Apple’s HomePod appears as good a smart speaker as most and a better audio device than many.”

Apple's HomePod

Apple’s HomePod

“The combination of Siri and a smart speaker is quite compelling,” Ulanoff writes. “Since Apple Music has access to 45 million songs you can ask it pretty much any music question and get a good answer. From playing current hits, to finding a decent 80’s channel to playing various versions of the same song. The more you use Apple Music, the more it tailors responses to your preferences. I also noticed that, even with the volume at 90 percent, the HomePod could still hear when someone said, ‘Hey Siri, stop.'”

“What Apple has here is an ultra-high-quality speaker and the first physical instantiation of Siri without a screen,” Ulanoff writes. “The fact that Apple is finally entering the smart speaker race is cause for muted celebration. It’s attractive, sounds amazing and is an excellent Siri ambassador.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Get your pre-orders in now via Apple here!

There could be a psychological component to this that leads people use Alexa over Siri precisely because they know the Echo is there (it’s a physical object), but forget about Siri being everywhere, even on their wrists (because Siri is embedded inside devices that are “for other things” in the user’s mind (telling time, watching TV, computing, phone calls, etc.) and therefore “hidden” to the user. Hence, Siri gets forgotten and goes unused while people use Alexa…

Again: We believe people use Alexa because Amazon Echo is a physical manifestation of “her,” while forgetting about Siri even though she’s on their wrists at all times and/or in their iPhones and iPads because Siri is hidden inside objects whose primary function is something other than “personal assistant” in people’s minds (watch, TV, phone or tablet, as opposed to “Siri.”) Alexa is present thanks to the Amazon Echo. Siri is absent because she has no such counterpart; no physical manifestation.

Siri is a ghost. Alexa is that cool, fun, glowing tube right there on the counter.

Apple would do well to not discount the psychology behind why people use certain features, even though cold, hard logic tells them it’s a redundant and unnecessary product.

An “Apple Echo” device would sell in the millions of units per quarter and boost Siri usage immensely.MacDailyNews, June 15, 2016

Apple’s HomePod, the iPod for your home – January 25, 2018
One hour with Apple’s new HomePod smart speaker – January 25, 2018
Apple’s iOS 11.3 beta delivers AirPlay 2 with multi-room playback – January 25, 2018
How Apple is positioning the HomePod and why – January 24, 2018
How I got talked into buying an Apple HomePod despite my reservations – January 24, 2018
Tim Cook says audio quality puts HomePod ahead of ‘squeaky-sounding’ competition – January 24, 2018
Apple’s HomePod arrives February 9th, available to order this Friday, January 26th – January 23, 2018
Apple delays HomePod release to early 2018 – November 17, 2017
Apple reveals HomePod smart home music speaker – June 5, 2017