Apple's Delayed HomePod Speaker Reaches Stores Feb. 9
Jan 23, 2018, 8:40 AM by Eric M. Zeman
Apple today said its HomePod smart speaker for the home will go on sale starting February 9. Preorders will kick off Friday, January 26. The smart speaker, which relies on Siri to handle voice requests, was supported to reach stores during the fourth quarter of 2017, but Apple delayed it for reasons unknown. Apple says Siri on the HomePod is able to handle natural-language requests, such as "who's playing drums on this track", "play more songs like thins" and so on. The HomePod focuses works natively with Apple Music and lets people tap into their playlists, artists, albums, and songs. Apple says it developed the HomePod to sound good, to understand where it is, and to provide a fun experience. It features a seven-tweeter array to drive audio in multiple directions and a 4-inch woofer that's upward facing. It is powered by an A8 processor with real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, and multi-channel echo cancellation. It can sense the size of the room it is in and adjust how it performs in order to fill that space with sound. Some core features include reminders, sports, news, alarms, messages, translations, stocks, traffic, and more. It can also interact with HomeKit devices for adjusting the thermostat or controlling lights. The HomePod will compete against the Google Home Amazon Echo series of products. HomePod costs $349.
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