Apple was like a ticking time bomb when it unveiled its latest addition to the growing clash of smart speakers, the Apple Homepod.
“It’s not about being first. It’s about being the best, and giving users an experience that delights them every time.” Apple CEO, Tim Cook said during an interview.
By December, Apple promises to realize the idea that chronological order doesn’t define greatness. But still, you might wonder how Apple would sway the market that’s known to Amazon and Google.
Apple Homepod: Not your average smart speaker
‘Hit the enemy where it’s unprepared.’
Apple won’t be the Apple we knew without its subtle yet straightforward marketing strategies.
It aimed to perfect the aspect where it’s competitors lack power. The Apple Homepod aspires to free the speaker from audio mediocrity.
During the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple boasted on Homepod’s dynamic features.
It goes with a 7-tweeter, beam-forming array. Beam-forming or also called Spatial Filtering is a technique to sensor arrays for directional signal transmission or reception.
Also, it has a 4-inch, forward-facing subwoofer that allows the Homepod to produce excellent sound quality.
With its iPhone A8 chip, the HomePod scan the room and optimize sound quality to fit the space it’s situated.
Superb sound quality is Apple’s priority. The Amazon Echo and Google Home are programmed to be smart speakers first and then speakers.
The fine line lies between the manufacturer’s primary target.
Amazon Echo: The home-buddy
For more than two years of being in the market, the Amazon Echo has garnered over 10,000 third-party skills. These skills allow you to do almost everything from ordering pizza to hailing a cab.
The Echo reshaped the smart home. Before it came, setting up a family-friendly connected home was a bugger. Users needed to use various apps to control different types of devices. Now, Echo’s assistant, Alexa, does everything for you.
“Alexa, turn my living room lights off.”
“Alexa, remind me to fetch mom at the airport by 5.”
“Alexa, play Adele.”
You just had to say the wake word ‘Alexa’ and voila! You got your answer for your needs.
Although at some point, speaking to Alexa isn’t that easy when it’s playing some music. This drawback demands you to shout or go nearer to Alexa if you need her to listen.
Apple has the HomeKit app. This feature is its ace against Alexa’s prowess. It works with Siri and your smart home. Ideally, the HomeKit will threaten Alexa’s supremacy with connected controls.
As of now, developers are yet to work with the HomeKit app. It requires them to install an MFi chip for security.
Major smart home developers like August and Ecobee are creating specific HomeKit versions of their devices. For smaller developers, this factor might be a challenging task to continue.
Once a device starts working with the use of the HomeKit app, it’ll cater extra security for homes. This factor may sound reassuring for some smart home customers.
Also, the HomeKit app offers more flexible commands than the Echo via customizable ‘scenes.’
The ‘scenes’ lets you say ‘good night’ to Apple’s digital assistant Siri. Then, the HomeKit app will turn your lights off, set the temperature you like for bedtime, and lock your doors.
Apple might beat the Echo in the smart speaker market, but users are yet to discover how far it can go.
Google Home: Your entertainment buddy
Google’s rebuttal to the brewing battle of smart speakers isn’t your average assistant.
The Google Home has Google Assistant. It has its version of the ‘scene’ functionality. It’s called Shortcuts.
Compared to Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Home can respond to more complex commands. It’s vast array of information challenges Alexa.
Just like Apple and the HomePod, the Google Home didn’t seem to threaten the Amazon Echo in the smart speaker competition. Google focused on being your best-friend in the entertainment hub.
If your TV has built-in Chromecast or a plugged-in Chromecast streamer, Google lets you can control your TV with the Home. Now you can stream Netflix and Youtube with just the command of your voice.
Also, one of Google Home’s amazing features is its ability to recognize different voices. With this feature, the Home can respond with personalized answers. If you ask about your schedule tomorrow, it won’t give you your mom’s salon schedule.
As of now, this feature can’t compete to Apple’s target of reinforcing home security. Its voice-recognition ability isn’t made to verify purchases or to unlock the door. But who knows when Google would level up and
level to user’s expectations.
Ideally, your choice of the smart speaker depends on your standards of a ‘smart assistant’ and a speaker. Check out the detailed comparison of Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Homepod. Happy shopping!