Sci-tech

Sonos Pokes Fun at Apple's Homepod Launch

Sonos Pokes Fun at Apple's Homepod Launch

Using a variation of a Spotify meme that blew up previous year, Sonos trolled Apple on HomePod launch day by calling it the "Fruit Machine" (via Business Insider). The HomePod does have features the Amazon Echo and Google Home don't, such as the ability to play podcasts at a faster speed or use voice to send iMessages and WhatsApp texts, according to BuzzFeed's Nicole Nguyen. The marketing and demos both focus heavily on music and it has an emphasis on audio quality that will please the audiophiles out there (if Apple didn't kill them all off by popularising digital music in the first place).

You can control HomePod from your iPhone, though iOS doesn't make it especially easy. "Siri is sorely lacking in capabilities compared with Amazon's Alexa and Google's Assistant".

Now if only Sonos had made the playlist in Apple Music, so Siri could play it on the HomePod.

In addition to several speakers mixed among Apple's other products on tables throughout the store, HomePods have been set up in larger locations next to Apple's HomeKit displays, however, they didn't appear to be connected to the rest of the demo just yet.

Google Assistant has multi-voice support to provide individuals' schedules, playlists, traffic details, and other personalized data upon request. One, a home speaker that Apple hopes will "reinvent home music" and 2, an intelligent home assistant to help perform tasks such as playing music, reading the news, sending and receiving iMessages, setting reminders, providing answers to general questions, checking the weather and more.

Bluetooth streaming: You can't just stream music from any Bluetooth source to the HomePod, even though it has Bluetooth 5.0 hardware inside.

Again, Apple's insistence on forcing its users into its walled garden limits the device's appeal (you better make sure you're ready to cough up for an Apple Music subscription to get the most out of the HomePod, for example).

Multi-speaker support: Right now, it's hard enough to swallow paying $349 for one HomePod, but if Apple's going to convince anyone to buy two or more, it needs to get paired and multi-room modes working properly.

A smarter Siri: A smart speaker is only as smart as its digital assistant. The company also chose to compile that playlist on Spotify, for a reason: At this point, Homepod users can't launch Spotify playlists on the device.