Also, a demonstration of how I use it with J River or Plex with the Echo to access my local library.
Just a not so quick comparison of Google Home, Alexa, and the HomePod.
Also, a demonstration of how I use it with J River or Plex with the Echo to access my local library.
I have been asked about Apple's privacy versus their competition. Since Apple doesn't tout privacy in their ads, and I have referred to it in the past, I decided to post excerpts from a few articles on the subject (there is link to the longer article in the title of each section).
I am not personally endorsing any of these specific articles, so if you have an issue with what they say, I suggest contacting them through the link to the article.
I do think that they all point to the same thing, though. Apple doesn't use your data as a separate revenue source and their competition does:
"First and foremost, there’s the issue of these companies’ business models. The goal of each outfit is to make the most money it can for its shareholders, naturally, and in that sense Apple — pricing its products at a premium — is the most visible example of the maxim. But $1,000 iPhones and pricey accessories aside, at least the company is only buttering its bread on one side.
Google, by contrast, not only sells phones and other devices, but also makes money off the ads (and the user data) that appear on those handsets, laptops and tablets. Amazon’s gadget-oriented business model wants to sell you things (like Amazon Echos) that will help sell you more things (through voice ordering) — a dizzying value proposition. And then there’s Facebook, which doesn’t appear to be selling its users much of anything at this point. But look more closely and you discover Facebook’s users (and their kids’ bath time photos) are themselves the products unwittingly feeding the social network’s revenue model."
"This is therefore one area where Apple trumps the competition thanks to the firm’s commitment to user privacy. Apple has been a frequent proponent for privacy, having famously denied the FBI the backdoor it wanted for the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters in 2016.
Apple says: “With HomePod, only after ‘Hey Siri’ is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.”
This means that not only will Apple only record people after they have requested the virtual assistant, unlike Google and Amazon, it will also not gather information on users for the purpose of advertising and marketing."
"I don't want an open Amazon or Google microphone in my house. Call me whatever names you feel you must, but the idea of companies that monetize my data and behavior being given my conversations and activities for free, and in so doing creating a second or multiple additional points for data breach or abuse, has always felt like a bad deal to me. (I can't use Google Assistant in general because, every time I decline to give it access to my web and app data, it declines to turn on — which feels coercive, given how much it could still do absent that data.)
Apple, by virtue of its business model, has no interest in storing my personal data any longer than it absolutely has to, and no interest in monetizing my behavior.So not only does it keep Siri offline until it hits the trigger phrase, once it goes online it generates an anonymous token ID and transmits all data with end-to-end encryption. That way, never have to worry about entire meeting transcripts being stored in logs, employees violating my privacy and snooping on me, or my past data being exposed over due to some future bug, partnership, or request.
That's not to say I don't want Apple using my data to provide me with better direct services. I just want my data to be used for my benefit, not for the company's bottom line. Not unless I start getting a share of the money they make off of it. (Which is way more valuable than any 'free" app or service offered as compensation to date.)"
"Siri might hear you loud and clear on the new HomePod smart speaker, but Apple won't.
Apple introduced the Siri-powered device Monday at the Worldwide Developers Conference, making it clear from the get-go that voice commands will be anonymized and encrypted.
Voice assistants have already taken over homes with the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Microsoft's Cortana speakers. They've all raised privacy issues of their own, but Apple adds some scale to the concerns.
As the largest tech company in the world, Apple is often in the crosshairs of hackers and governments. For example, the number of security orders from US law enforcement to Apple doubled to about 6,000 during the second half of 2016, compared with the first six months of the year, the company disclosed in late May.
The HomePod won't always be listening to its users. Like Amazon and Google's voice assistant, a person activates it with a wake word or phrase. With the HomePod, it'll be "Hey Siri."
"Our team cares deeply about your privacy," Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller said at Monday's keynote. "It has that magic phrase, 'Hey Siri.' Until you say it, nothing's being sent to Apple."
When the data does get sent, anonymization and encryption means your voice commands aren't tied to your Apple ID, and even the company isn't able to clearly view it.
So far, data stored on Amazon's servers is not anonymized. Google Home's assistant is able to access a user's search and location history and stores data on voice commands until it's been deleted.
The FBI declined to disclose how often it requests voice data from Amazon's Echo, but the retail giant has shown that it can retrieve Alexa recordings from specific users in a criminal investigation.
The encryption for HomePod conversations sticks with Apple's push for user privacy from the government, a mindset that also helped the company fight off the FBI's demands to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist's iPhone in 2016."
"Apple is stepping up its artificial intelligence efforts in a bid to keep pace with rivals who have been driving full-throttle down a machine learning-powered AI superhighway, thanks to their liberal attitude to mining user data.
Not so Apple, which pitches itself as the lone defender of user privacy in a sea of data-hungry companies. While other data vampires slurp up location information, keyboard behavior and search queries, Apple has turned up its nose at users’ information. The company consistently rolls out hardware solutions that make it more difficult for Apple (and hackers, governments and identity thieves) to access your data and has traditionally limited data analysis so it all occurs on the device instead of on Apple’s servers."
A Quick Wrap Up
From now on, I will just link to this post in the future. Hopefully, it helps to understand what I am referring to when I discuss Apple vs their competition in the area of privacy. If you want it straight from Apple, here is a page to get started:
Setup - no muss, no fuss
Ah yes, a new Apple product...the HomePod. Out of the box, you notice that it is hefty for its small dimensions. It takes a couple minutes for it to read information off your iPhone or iPad and it is ready to play music. Fast and easy setup that is rivaled only by Airpods.
The main thing that some won't like is that the power cable is not removable (Correction: The cable is technically removable.). I believe they may have gone this route to avoid a big ugly power brick since a lot of people will be putting one of them in their kitchen. The cable itself looks great and is pretty long. Below is a picture of the fabric covered cable:
Siri for Music
Lots of Siri bashing going on by people that either don't understand the purpose of this device or simply want something to complain about. Siri for Apple Music works great! Pick a song, album, artist, playlist and it gets it right nearly every time. Actually, I have used it for hours and it hasn't missed a beat, but I hesitate to say it will work for every song in the world. I did test it with the album A1A, by Jimmy Buffett, that always throws me into the maps app on the iPhone, and it played without a problem.
Siri still needs commands spoken in a certain way, so if you want a movie soundtrack, it makes sense to tell her you want to hear "the album Pretty in Pink Movie Soundtrack". Some of this is because there are 40 million songs to choose from, so the more specific the better.
I also tested playing the music loud and then saying "Hey, Siri". It does a fantastic job of hearing your voice over loud music. I can't say the same about the Echo Dot. I have had to get close to it and scream in similar situations.
For the size, it is unbelievable. The sound is big and clean with punchy bass. It isn't going to rival my floor standing speakers combined with my 50 pound subwoofer, but it is still pretty amazing for a speaker with a 5.6 inch circular base and 6.8 inches tall. I am not sure how Apple will demonstrate this in the store, but you have to hear it for yourself.
I have had it in a small room and in a spot that splits two large rooms. It fills up a small room better, but no matter where you put it, it sounds great for its size. The volume won't blow out your eardrums, but there is no distortion at 100 percent, so you are always getting great sound.
I tested this with AirPlay and it works great. I have the excellent Netgear Orbi routers, so I never heard a drop out, even when playing lossless audio from my library and Tidal.
The AirPlay 2 features that bring AirPlay into this century are just around the corner and I expect will have more people buying HomePods. I have tested AirPlay 2 with my AppleTVs and being able to use multiroom audio directly from iOS takes things to a new level.
I typically use the Overcast app for podcasts on my iPhone, but I have been using the Podcast app for the AppleTV for years, so I am familiar with it. With the HomePod, you can tell it to play a podcast and it will play without a problem. It will also allow you to skip forward with commands like "Skip forward 2 minutes".
I did have some issues asking for some shows. For example, it has no idea what "iMore Show" is. It worked fine for Vector with Rene Ritchie, Accidental Tech Podcast, etc. It is supposed to be ableto pick up where you left off, but I am still trying to figure that one out.
I have tested this with Hue Bulbs that I have all over the house. It is very fast and works great. I have tested dimming bulbs, changing colors of bulbs, and turning them on and off. Very impressed.
General Siri Commands
If you buy this to rival Google Home or Amazon Echo for trivia, you will be disappointed. This isn't going to try to answer every question under the sun. It will convert measurements, set an alarm, get you the weather, and a few basic things. It does get some information from Wiki, but if you get a bunch of I don't know responses, you end up not trying anymore.
While it won't rival its competitors in this arena. The point of this device is great sound quality in a small package, not to play trivial pursuit. If you have no concerns about privacy (see my post about privacy here), get Google Home Mini or Echo Dot to answer your random questions or just get out your iPhone and launch Google Assistant. I have Echos all over the house and I just haven't had much need to ask it a bunch of random questions.
Combining with Echo Dot
Since the HomePod has AirPlay capabilities, it does open it to some Echo Dot skills. I use the J River Media Center skill on the Echo combined with J River running on my computer to send my personal music library audio files to the HomePod using AirPlay.
I have also tested the Plex app skill with my AppleTV and I was able to send the AirPlay stream to the HomePod. It is an easy backdoor to playing my lossless files on the HomePod using theEcho Dot. That being said, the AppleTV has to be manually adjusted to the HomePod airplay speaker every time you use it, so the J River Media solution on my computer has been a better option. Though, honestly, I won't use this feature very often at all.
Third Party Apps
This is for the 36 million and growing users of Apple Music. It isn't here to get Spotify more subscribers. However, you can use AirPlay with any audio stream from iOS or a computer ( may need an app like Airfoil), so no one is completely locked out.
I have seen review after review complaining about the lack of third party audio streaming. Guess what, it isn't that unusual. Sure, they are one of the few devices without Spotify, but the Amazon Echo doesn't support Google Play Music, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.
As far as third party skills, get anEcho Dot for ~ $39 (though it is often sale) if you need things like Plex, J River, Harmony Remote, support. Get the HomePod for the Apple ecosystem. Just be aware of what it is for before you decide.
Who is it for?
I will try to post an unboxing video and some of my impressions when I get a chance. However, I want to run down a list of what you can expect from the HomePod to make it easier to decide if the product is for you or not:
Who is it for?
1. Apple Music Subscribers that want voice control of music from a speaker
2. People in iOS that use Airplay.
3. People that want great sound from a small speaker
4. People that listen to Apple Podcasts
5. People that use HomeKit devices
6. People that prefer Apple's approach to privacy
Who is it not for?
1. People that don't use Apple Music that want voice control of music from a speaker
2. People that want it for random trivia or third party skills
3. People that do not own an iPad or iPhone
Does it work for my purposes?
It absolutely does exactly what I wanted it to do. I own Echo Dots, an Echo Spot, and a Google Home Mini. This is a different type of device. It works with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and Airplay. Not to mention the upcoming Airplay 2 features. This makes it more useful for music than the other devices. I am a music fanatic, so anything that makes music more convenient, and sounds great, means I will listen to music more often. While it is great sounding, for a small speaker, with all kinds of smarts related to room measurements, I won't be replacing my many speaker setups. It isn't meant to replace a main system. It is more about convenience without listening to a tin can.
As for Siri. she works great with Apple Music. I use it that way daily, so I know how to talk to the assistant to get it to play music I want to hear. I will still keep my cheap Echos around, so I have all of the other assistant features nearby, anyway. I just see them as very different devices, like a truck vs a sports car.
What would I change?
Lets pretend I could change anything about the HomePod. I would put an aux input on the thing. This would allow me to connect a Dot and get the best of both worlds. Outside of that, the HomePod has Bluetooth inside, but you can't use it for Bluetooth streaming. I would turn that on so it could be used for Bluetooth.
Down the road, I would love to see an Apple version of the Echo Dot that I can put anywhere and cost a fraction of the HomePod. I have my doubts that Apple wants that market, though.
Well, as you can see from the video above, I upgraded from my Canon 5D Mark III. I really love that camera, but I have had it for almost 6 years, so I feel that I got my money’s worth. I am going to wait until I have thenew camera for a bit, but I will eventually sell the 5D.
Dipping a toe in the Sony Pool
I don’t get paid to use certain brands of camera equipment, so I don’t have any loyalty to Canon versus other brands. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some nostalgic feelings since I started shooting digitally with Canon’s Powershot point and shoot, then switched to the 20D, and then to the 5D Mark III. Almost all of my lenses are Canon, as well.
That being said, I have been intrigued with the Sony’s full frame mirrorless cameras since they first came to market. The high dynamic range and comparatively ridiculous number of megapixels was enough to make anyone look. Sony’s lack of native lenses, the short battery life, and the not-so-great autofocus kept me on the sidelines....until now.
All of my prior concerns with Sony’s cameras have been resolved (for the most part), if the many reviews are correct. The stable of Sony lenses has grown, the battery life has been greatly improved, and the autofocus is supposed to be a huge improvement. I also wanted a camera that can shoot 4K video and the Sony fills that need, as well
Sony’s lenses can be very expensive. That is the main drawback of their system, but to get by while I save up money for lenses, I bought a Metabones adapter. One of the great things about Sony is that it can work with many different camera mounts via adapters. I may eventually sell all of my Canon gear, but that won’t offset what I will need to spend for replacement lenses, so I want to save up so I can at least have the option to get something like a 70-200 and a 1.4x teleconverter just to have something try to see what I am missing (if anything). After that, I may stick with adapters for a while if they work okay with the setup.
I can get by with just that lens for a while if need be. That being said if the Metabones + Canon works fantastically out of the box, I may hold out in case Canon comes along with something that fits my needs better down the road. Until I see how everything works, I can’t really make an informed decision. Luckily, we have a lens rental shop nearby, so I can do some direct comparisons and insure that I won’t have remorse over getting rid of my Canon glass....if that time comes.
When I bought the Canon 5D Mark III, it was because it was the best all around camera for my needs at the time. TheSony mirrorless fills that role the best, for my needs, right now. The fact that it is mirrorless means it can be paired with some lightweight travel lenses (it can actually work perfectly with the APS-C lenses for the A6500) if I want to travel with small, lightweight gear. That is one aspect. The Sony sensor is reportedly great in low light and one of the best in the business. It can shoot 4K video in a format that is easy to process. It can shoot up to 10 frames a second with full sized RAW files. It also has a silent mode, which will be great for photographing pups and wildlife.
It can, in theory, work with my Canon lenses with an adapter with little trade off, right out of the box. The 42.4 megapixels and 5-axis image stabilization is a huge plus. While I would prefer a fully articulating LED screen, I like the fact that the LED can pop out for shots low to the ground or on a table and also be used with the camera overhead. I also appreciate the fact that it can pair with the iPhone for GPS data instead of needing to use a third party app. Also, the app allows you to take photos remotely from an iOS device, which will come in handy shooting hummingbirds in the summer.
The Wrap Up
I am really looking forward to trying the A7R MarkIII out with my current lenses for both video and photos. I will provide an “initial thoughts” post once I get a little bit of time with it. As anyone that reads my blog knows, I also have other hobbies, so these type of purchases are usually few and far between, so I spend a lot of time reading specs, reviews, watching YouTube videos, etc. to make the most informed decision I can. However, I have never used this camera, so my thoughts at this point are based solely on speculation.
I have taken a few (edited) photos since opening the box yesterday. I am pretty happy out of the gate, but I will definitely write articles on the different lenses with theadapter as I have time.
Out of the box, I really liked the packaging. The Stormtrooper and gun (which can be put in his hand or not used at all) are fitted into the package rather than strapped into the package. This means that you just open up the box and pop the Stormtrooper and gun out.
Once you have it out, they suggest that you charge it. The charger is in a small pull out box below the Stormtrooper. I charged it up and installed the iOS app on my iPhone. The setup requires you to connect your mobile device to a network setup by the Stormtrooper and he says the password you need to use (make sure you write this down). I would much rather have a Bluetooth setup for ease of use anywhere, but I got it connected and then connected it to my wifi system via the app. I also updated the firmware. It can take a while before you can actually start enjoying the Stormtrooper, but I didn’t find this to be unusual. I have other battery operated devices that take just as long to get up and running.
After theStormtrooper was setup, he runs through some head and body movements to calibrate. He has motors in the neck, arms, legs and sensors in his feet. He also has a video camera in his helmet and an array of microphones.
The design of the Stormtrooper is first rate, for the most part. His arm and head movements are what you would expect, though his head can move up and down and side to side, so it has a lot of flexibility. However, he is extremely slow especially when compared to the Droid robots made by Sphero. I have the R2D2 (I will review him eventually) and it can run circles around the Stormtrooper. The Stormtrooper just slowly shuffles along and he also makes a bit of noise when doing so.
The app gives you the option to scan your face into his memory as a “Commander”, “Captain”, “Lieutenant”, or “Resident Scum”. You can also go into the “Settings” and turn off or on sound effects and music.
Currently it has a few different “Take Command” features. “Training”, Mission” and “Sentry”.
The “Training” area lets you set up “Actions” in different categories like “Action”, “Recon”, “Security”, etc. You can name actions anything you like, but there are numerous actions you can choose from. The options typically have the robot say something like “I’ll secure the area” or other patrol oriented verbalizations. The list of movements range from him surveying the area by moving around his head or a combination of head and arm movements. Once you select what you want him to say and how you want him to move, you just name the action and save it.
Now that you have an action setup, you go back into the main “Training” section and choose “Practice”. This allows you to see him perform the actions that you set up. You can also control his head movements and make him walk in different directions with some on screen controls. If you turn on “streaming” it will show you video on the screen of what he sees. I like this area a lot. It allows you to make him talk, move around, view the area he is surveying, etc. You can also go into “Manage Actions” which allows you to delete, change the name, or assign the action to a different category.
On the main screen, you can also select “Mission”. This will pop up choices of “Easy”, “Normal”, and “Hard”. This is a little game with a grid that you move around in a virtual world that is split with the area you are in. It is a bit weird but I guess is so you can see where he is in your space and the virtual world space. In this world you navigate him to positions on the screen where he will observe and interact with a virtual object. While I wasn’t really blown away by the game play, I do see that they have a lot of potential to make game play better given all of the high tech features built into the Stormtrooper.
On the main screen, the final option is “Sentry”. This allows you to start or create a patrol. He will survey and march along the area you designate and when he senses motion he will ask for a password. If you say the correct password he will clear you, if not, he will tell you to move along in no uncertain terms.
I personally own the excellent Sphero R2D2 robot which is a lot cheaper than the Stormtrooper. I find the R2D2 to be more fun to operate because he moves around so much faster. However, the Stormtrooper is a much more sophisticate robot with a camera, microphones, and sensors. It has robotics built into his arms and legs and neck. Therefore, UBTECH has a lot of room to improve the experience if they choose to update the app. I really hope they do because the Stormtrooper looks fantastic and has a lot of potential that is somewhat letdown by some areas of the app. Of course, the Stormtrooper will always move around slower than R2D2, but the virtual gameplay could be a lot better.
All in all, I like the Stormtrooper, but I think it could be even better with some app updates.
So, everyone with an iPhone, iPad, Android based phone needs a portable battery charger. While they may have one already, they probably don't have one like this one.
While there are sleeker portable chargers, most of them don't deserve to be left out on display. That is what makes this charger so cool. You can leave it out where you will always know where it is, while still waving your Cowboy fan flag!
Of course, this is only 3600mAh charger while you can get slightly less expensive, thinner Belkin 5000mAh (see below) that will take up less space in a bag. However, I like having both since this one can be at the ready when I am tracking down my other chargers.
This is a short review of the PDP Pixel Pals Ren Collectible Lighted Figure. If you have a GenXer to shop for this holiday season, this will most surely make them smile.
It is Ren and/or Stimpy Pixel Pals that look great in an office when they are on display, but spectacular when they flip the pixel lights on. It brings back memories of both the Light Bright Magic Screen and the wonderful comedy show known as Ren and Stimpy....in other words it is simply Awesome!
I just wanted to make a "Public Service Announcement" for the Airport Express since I have recommended it, compared it to other similar devices by other companies, and because it is used with Airplay, which I have discussed numerous times.
At this point in time, I would not recommend buying an Airport Express. Apple has already mentioned that they will be bringing out Airplay 2 alongside the HomePod. Airplay 2 will give you the ability to play to multiple devices at the same time from iOS. Apple has announced that the AppleTV 4 will work with Airplay 2, but they have made no such announcement about the Airport Express.
Also, while iOS should still be compatible with older Airplay products, they could discontinue making updates to the Airport Express that could leave your network vulnerable to viruses or hackers. The Airport Express isn't just a music playback device, it can also be used as a wifi base station, which means its could be more vulnerable without updates down the road.
I would love for the Airport Express to get the Airplay 2 update and security updates in the future, I am just concerned about Apple's long term plans for this device with Airplay 2 eventually being available. As a result, I would not recommend buying this device until Apple is more clear about its future, unless you have weighed those pros and cons and decided it was still worth it.
I have a lot of devices with Airplay features, so I am still hoping some of the newer devices get updates, but at this point, I wouldn't buy a device for Airplay features unless the company has already announced that it will get automatically updated for Airplay 2 when it becomes available.
Apple announced that the HomePod will not be available until 2018. This has brought up some comments that I want to respond to, like:
“Apple is selling this as an audiophile product and it can’t compete with amps hooked up to full range floor standing speakers”
Duh! Apple is selling it as having great technology that can get the most out of a speaker that weighs 5.5 pounds. There are rumors that Apple thought about a 3 foot tall device, but obviously they figured out the market is larger for a 6.8 inch tall speaker with a 5.6 inch footprint. I should mention, I have a very tall Sony Bluetooth speaker and because of its size, it limits where I can put it.
“Alexa kills Siri”
I am a fan of Echo products (the Dot was my top pick last year), but Alexa is no better than Siri and in many ways it is worse. Don’t take my word for it, watch this video of a side by side comparison from one of YouTube’s most popular tech reviewers:
In fairness, Amazon has skills that Apple doesn't and won't have. However, the usefulness of those skills will depend on the user. For example, I can control J River Media running on a computer by voice, but it requires a long voice request:
"Alexa, ask House Band to play Blood on the Track by Bob Dylan"
I don't think that this skill will be better than using the HomePod to control Airplay 2 devices.
“It doesn’t work with services like Google Play, Amazon Prime, Spotify, etc.”
This is true, but it is the only "voice assistant" that works with Apple Music (currently that includes 30 million subscribers), Siri, and will have control over AirPlay 2 devices. Also, Google Play Music does not work with the Echo and Amazon Music does not work with Google Home.
Apple could add Spotify, and they may do that down the road, but right now they are using their devices to grow the Apple Music subscriber base. These music services are all very similar, so it makes sense for Apple to use their products as a way to sell the service.
“Casting is better than AirPlay”
Try opening up Apple Music or The Overcast podcast app (two prominent examples) on an iPhone and then try to Cast that audio stream to your Chromecast. Nope, you can’t. Now try to AirPlay it. Works like a charm.
The main shortfall to Casting is that it doesn’t work with every audio app like AirPlay on iOS. Obviously, if you don’t own an iPhone or iPad, AirPlay is less useful, but this is an Apple device that works best if you are in the Apple ecosystem.
Also, the HomePod will get Airplay 2 sending/receiving capabilities which is supposed to give it more features from iOS and more buffering on the network.
“It is overpriced”
The only way we know if it is priced to high is by waiting to see how well it sells. Apple has margins built in and prices can be adjusted if they aren’t selling. Apple typically does enough research that they know what people will pay before bringing a product to market. It is why they have the most profitable tech products in numerous categories.
Now if people are saying it isn’t worth $350 for them to buy it, that is their own issue. There are a lot of products I wouldn’t take for free, but that doesn’t mean they are priced wrong for their market. It just means I have no interest in those products. There are other products, like BMW M3 that I would consider buying if it was priced a lot lower. It doesn’t mean it is overpriced, it just means it costs more than I would be willing to pay.
"Not long if not now that Google and Amazon/Sonos will have this market sewed up."
I doubt it unless one of them adds Airplay 2 voice control features and Apple Music with voice control.
The market for any of these devices is still pretty small. I have three Dots and a Spot preordered (not to mention a newly added Google Home Mini) and I still have an interest in the HomePod for the two features I mentioned above. I have read that Amazon is estimated to have sold around 15 million Echoes. Small potatoes in a world with billions of people, and since many people that have them, may have more than one, the number of homes these are in is probably a fraction compared to the (estimated) number they have sold.
Not to mention homes like mine that will have devices from more than one company. It is like saying that someone has an iPhone 4, so they should have no interest in a Samsung Note 8. The products themselves are so different that having one (even if they are both in the smart phone category) doesn't rule out the future purchase of the other.
Of course, I don't have a crystal ball. However, I wouldn't bet against Apple. Just to put some perspective on their success, let's look at their current products:
The Apple Brand is popular and makes a lot of money. Of course, if analysts are correct, I am doing better in this segment of the market than Amazon who was estimated to have lost $300 million in 2016. How we measure Apple's success compared to companies giving the product away at a loss is a little tricky. It is the old market share versus profitability argument that has been around at least since Apple started selling iPhones. I would be very surprised if Apple didn't have the most profitable smart speaker on the market come the end of 2018. Guess time will tell.
Below is a quote from a similar pointy from a few years ago (I am sure there are more on many of Apple's "late" arriving products):
"While the above is compelling, Apple won’t be bringing its watch to market until early 2015. This gives other smart watchmakers plenty of time to enhance the features set of their own products, especially those powered by Android Wear. Currently, there are around 10 companies with logos displayed on Google’s Android Wear page. Each of them is solely committed to building watches powered by Android Wear.
The initial round of Android Wear-powered smart watches delivers interesting functionality. This includes the ability to talk to your watch and send messages, ask questions and “get stuff done” (Google’s words). With Android Wear developers’ ability to utilize sensors, notifications, voice actions and data transfers, the Apple Watch could be yesterday’s news by the time it hits markets next year."
Looking back now, that point was ridiculous. It is just as ridiculous this time around.
The Wrap Up
Of course, right now, we are discussing a theoretic device. Apple has said the HomePod will not come out until 2018. However, if you have any comments (other than those I have addressed) leave a comment and I will try to respond.
In my Planet Audio CarPlay Review, I mentioned how much of a pain it was to lose SiriusXM. While there are still some shortfalls compared to having Nav built in to the car, the hassle of needing to start SiriusXM directly on the phone is now gone. WoooHoooo!
Dog loving, Big Green Egg worshiping, Tech enthusiast, residing in Memphis, TN. Home of the Tigers, Grizzlies, Elvis, Al Green, Stax, Hi Records, Ardent Studios, Beale Street, Peabody Ducks, etc.. I have also added the Jeep Wrangler to the list of things I am enthusiastic about.
Flickr pics below