Apple HomePod Now Available in US, UK, and Australia

HomePod deliveries, in-store pick-ups and sales begin in the UK

Amazon invented the category in 2015 with its line of Echo speakers, and there are now similar options available from Google and Microsoft.

The United Kingdom is the second of Apple's three launch countries to begin deliveries, in-store pick-ups and sales of HomePod.

You can control HomePod from your iPhone, though iOS doesn't make it especially easy.

Unlike in the Alexa app, meanwhile, there's no log of what Siri heard and what her response was.

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Overall speaking, smart speaker is the interface for smart home devices. "It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalog and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, attractive design that is so much fun to use".

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.

Apple has provided gesture controls on the HomePod that are featured on its top panel.

A number of features have yet to arrive before HomePod feels feature-complete.

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Since then, Apple has avoided comparing the HomePod to the Amazon Echo and Google Home - devices with better voice-activated smart assistants compared to Apple's Siri - and said it is instead competing with audio-focused speakers such as Sonos. We expect this will be fixed in a software update, but it's a very surprising omission from any speaker, let alone a "smart speaker". Apple is positioning the HomePod firmly as a music device that can also help you out around the house. If requested, it should also be able to preclude unauthorized sharing of personal information such as one user's messages and calls with people other than that person. A true stereo mode would be great, too.

The smart speaker uses Apple's Siri voice agent, in the company's relatively late entry into the smart speaker market.

If Siri finds a coffee shop that sounds to your liking, for example, there's no way to send that information to your iPhone. The company also made a decision to compile that playlist on Spotify, for a reason: At this point, Homepod users can't launch Spotify playlists on the device.

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