HomePod should become a hub for all Apple-centric needs

“Today the HomePod is all about music, but it could be so much more,” Ryan Christoffel writes for MacStories. “In a pre-Amazon Echo world, HomePod being a great Apple Music speaker would have been enough. But in 2018 we expect more from smart speakers, and we expect more from Apple.”

“Due to its arrival date more than three years after the birth of Alexa, we expected a smarter, more capable product. We expected the kind of product the HomePod should be: a smart speaker that’s heavy on the smarts. Apple nailed certain aspects with its 1.0: the design, sound quality, and setup are all excellent. But that’s not enough,” Christoffel writes. “HomePod isn’t a bad product today, but it could become a great one.”

“How? By becoming a true hub for all our Apple-centric needs,” Christoffel writes. “Siri’s reach should extend to everything branded Apple; if a service or device is made by Apple, Siri needs to have deep ties into it. For this to happen, Siri on the HomePod not only needs access to all the knowledge of every other Siri, but it also needs to gain an understanding of all Apple services and devices – thus becoming a veritable center of all Apple-related intelligence.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, but this is Tim Cook’s Apple we’re talking about here, not Steve Jobs’.

So, regarding Christoffel’s list: If you love life, don’t hold your breath waiting for Apple to deliver any of it.

At this rate (glacial), we’d settle for HomePod getting multi-room support and stereo paring capability before the year is out.

SEE ALSO:
Hey Siri: give me a product development road map for AI – March 15, 2018
Former Apple employees reflect on Siri’s ‘squandered lead’ over Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – March 14, 2018
Why has Apple’s reputation plummeted? – March 14, 2018
Apple tumbles 24 spots – from 5th to 29th – in Harris Reputation Poll – March 13, 2018
Siri creator is surprised by how much Apple’s Siri still can’t do – March 9, 2018
Apple shakes up software development strategy to focus on quality – February 12, 2018
What Apple needs to do to improve Siri – February 8, 2018
Apple on Mac flaw: ‘We apologize to all Mac users. Our customers deserve better. We are auditing our development processes.’ – November 29, 2017
Tim Cook’s sloppy, unfocused Apple rushes to fix a major Mac security bug – November 29, 2017
What to do about Apple’s shameful Mac security flaw in macOS High Sierra – November 29, 2017
Under ‘operations genius’ Tim Cook, product delays and other problems are no longer unusual for Apple – November 20, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
On the future of Apple’s Macintosh – February 6, 2017
Apple is misplaying the hand Steve Jobs left them – November 30, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015

15 Comments

  1. Apple’s security policy (or what Apple’s in-house developers think it is) may be making it harder to have a cloud-based user data repository for Siri enabling it to render a consistent UX. Got a ways to go to catch up to Google Assistant and Alexa. If Apple is not careful it would be embarrassing to also be left behind Cortana and Bixby.

    1. I used to justify Siri’s “flaws” to myself and others as “less capable but more secure”…can’t have it have free access to everything and also be secure.. That, it seems, is not the reason. It is less capable because it has had no leadership in its development and is “good enough” for Apple.

  2. I saw 2 HomePods in Apple’s Palo Alto store today. One did not work at all. The other could not hear commands or identify songs when I was a few feet away. Even standing next to the HomePod, the Apple employee and I had less than 25% success with Siri – very disappointing. The store is a big room. Maybe HomePod and Siri only work in small very quiet rooms. The HomePod sounded ok but had no stereo effect. HomePod and Siri need serious work.

    1. Maybe the working HomePod had ‘learned’ the voices of all the people who tried using it and is confused as to what is background noise and actual speech commands. Perhaps it just requires a reboot to clear its ‘mind’.

    2. I had the complete opposite experience at the Apple store with home pod. She understood everything I said and everything my 7 year old said. Store was packed and loud, and siri understood everything we threw at her without fail and I purposely never rose my voice and actually lowered my voice at times to test her. I couldn’t believe she could hear me.

      1. That confirms what some reviewers have said about HomePod being able to ‘hear’ users regardless of how high the volume is turned up. This is being attributed to the noise cancelling ‘smarts’ in the HomePod to filter out all sounds it itself is emitting from what it picks up by its microphones.

  3. I really don’t want or need a device from anyone, even Apple that is always on listening to all that is going on in my home.

    I don’t care if Siri is better or worse than other AI, I don’t use Siri practically ever except when listening to music on my iPhone I may tell it to skip a track. I find that using my finger to poke whatever is quicker.

      1. A software switch does exist. You just tell the HomePod “Stop listening” and supposedly it will not hear anything. At the very least it will no longer respond to voice commands. You then can turn Siri on HomePod back on via the App on your phone to toggle listening back on when you want her back.

        At the moment there is no physical switch like that provided on Echo devices. However it can be argued that since it is a button and not a sliding switch there may exist some way to turn listening back on via software.

  4. I’m not sure if the homepod needs to be THE hub. I think a better plan would be to allow “always on siri” on the apple TV, homepod, and macs. With that plan, a siri device could be in multiple rooms without having to buy more home pods. IF you have a home pod you could have all the audio flow through that speaker or whichever device is in the room you are in. They also need a 99-150 mini home pod that could be placed in more rooms which would hopefully still provide great sounds but more importantly spreading siri’s ears out a bit more 😉

  5. There is already a device in most of our homes that is commonly plugged in, connected to a WiFi Network, has Bluetooth capability, has a microphone and speakers and a high quality display.

    It is called a Macintosh. You may have heard of it- the red headed stepchild of Tim Cook’s Apple. You know their most expensive product that they will not allow to use HomeKit despite being in the home, does not work with HealthKit, cannot communicate directly with your Apple Watch, etc.

    It looks like this in one of it’s many forms
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    They apparently give not a damn about it, but they would be happy to sell you a speaker and a rental music service.

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