“As excellent as it is, HomePod does seem expensive for a smart speaker and especially so for one that famously has fewer features than rivals such as Amazon Echo,” William Gallagher writes for AppleInsider. “Even now the HomePod’s price has been cut, you could get many Amazon Echo Dots for the same money and, well, dot them around your house.”

MacDailyNews Take: If you don’t value your privacy, of course:
Amazon confirms it is listening to Alexa recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices – April 11, 2019

“There is another way to look at HomePod,” Gallagher writes. “It’s really an iPhone 6.”

“The HomePod is used for far less than the iPhone 6, but that’s not the same as it having less capability. What Apple chooses to let us do is one thing, yet what the HomePod hardware is capable of is something else entirely,” Gallagher writes. “The HomePod has more than enough power to warrant its own App Store. And, having one, would neatly put to rest many of the complaints about it.”

“Perhaps dedicated apps would be better able to handle a back and forth conversation where you can practically discuss the weather forecast or narrow down restaurant choices with Siri. Certainly, an alarm app made by a third party could get HomePod to wake you up with your choice of music instead of the current unchangeable tone,” Gallagher writes. “And gaming developers are smart, there must be games they can make that work just with audio.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As long as it can be done securely, why not unleash HomePod and let enterprising developers make HomePod much more useful, increasing its value?