Smart speaker comes with option to mute Siri

Apple HomePod Review: Apple, is this all you've got?

Revealed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2017, the HomePod smart speaker is keeping fans waiting.

The tech giant says it will release the highly anticipated device in stores on February 9.

Consumers from the USA, United Kingdom and Australia will have the first chance to purchase the device, followed by customers in France and Germany later this spring. The Siri waveform will appear on top of the HomePod speaker when the user engages with the voice assistant appears and it also comes with integrated touch controls. Available colors are white and space gray from the Apple website and the Apple Store app. However, recent approval from the United States telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), should bring it a step closer to release, expected Q1 2018, in the US, the United Kingdom and Australia. In case you are not aware, the stereo sound feature gets triggered when one HomePod in a room detects another one in the same room. Apple has defended its bin-like design by talking up its "seamless 3D mesh fabric" as having acoustic properties. Of course the update will be able to do more than that and will also introduce some new features to Siri, such as reading the news in general, or asking for specific topics.

To take advantage of all of HomePod's music features, you'll need an Apple Music subscription. Cook in the interview said, "We think one thing that was missing from the market was a quality audio experience, a very immersive audio experience". Much like other Apple products, AppleCare+ for HomePod will reportedly not cover cosmetic damages.

The multi-room audio feature requires users to place a HomePod speaker in more than one room.

The HomePod's additionally been blessed with spatial awareness so that it can adjust according to where it's been placed in a room.

"The HomePod is being positioned more as a competitor to Sonos' high-end wireless speakers than as a competitor to the plethora of low-priced smart speakers flooding the market", The Verge reported.

Perhaps more importantly, HomePod is also a smart speaker, marking Apple's first competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said: "This is a critically important device for Apple given the significant head start Amazon and Google have in this area".

The HomePod was originally slated to go on sale in December, ahead of the holiday shopping season.

With support for HomeKit, HomePod can control hundreds of home accessories or set scenes like, "Hey Siri, I'm home", to control a number of different accessories at the same time.

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