Serial Apple hating site Business Insider in their January 29 first thoughts had some slight praise for Apple’s HomePod, though quickly turned true to form, focussing on ‘7 crucial things HomePod can’t do’.
First up – These 7 deadly HomePod sins seem to have been lifted or shared directly from http://elexonic.com if the date stamps are correct.
Business Insider seems to have a track record of dissing everything Apple and praising almost everything Android.
As with their previous reviews pouring scorn on Apple products, Business Insider apparently doesn’t have the confidence in their reviews to allow comments, perhaps suspecting most of their anti-Apple tripe would be called as just that by most intelligent readers.
Business Insider’s review starts with:
- Apple’s new $499 smart speaker, HomePod, starts shipping February 9.
- It has some cool features like “room-sensing technology,” the ability to work as a HomeKit hub, and – most importantly – high-quality sound.
- But it has several limitations, like the fact that it can only work with iOS devices, and the inability to sync with your calendar.’
So, it has ‘some cool features’. Get real, it has some amazing features like “room-sensing technology,” the ability to work as a HomeKit hub, and – most importantly – high-quality sound, and that’s just the start.
Business Insider’s complaints seem to focus on the device not working easily with their preferred platforms of Anything Other Than Apple.
Their list of 7 things HomePod doesn’t do, while including several features that may be desirable in a future update seems to focus primarily on things clearly not applicable to Apple’s target market.
To Quote from Business Insider. Our comments in italics
1. HomePod can’t pair with Android phones
‘In order to set up your new HomePod, you need to have an iOS device. It doesn’t necessarily need to be an iPhone – iPads and iPod Touch work, too – but it will not work with Android devices whatsoever’.
And neither should they – I don’t see customers who refuse to purchase Apple, suddenly buying HomePod to go with their Pixel or Note. If you insist on Android, get a crappy sounding Alexa or Google. Their data mining features will work seamlessly with Android.
HomePod is compatible with:
iPhone 5s through iPhone X (including iPhone SE)
12.9-inch iPad Pro
10.5-inch iPad Pro
9.7-inch iPad Pro
iPad (5th generation)
iPad Air and iPad Air 2
iPad mini 2,3,4
iPod touch (6th generation)
2. HomePod doesn’t recognise different people’s voices
‘While HomePod will answer to anyone’s commands, it isn’t capable of recognising individual voices. This means you can’t set up user profiles or tailor the device to different members of a household’.
This is one feature that would be helpful, and could possibly be a future enhancement. Its absence is not a dealbreaker.
3. HomePod can’t check your calendar
‘The version of Siri that lives inside HomePod isn’t quite the same as Siri on your iPhone. It can’t check your calendar for events or make a new one’.
If I’m going to make appointments, I’ll be making it on a phone, Mac or iPad.
‘For comparison, both Google Home and Amazon Echo have those skills – and not just for Google Calendar. Even the Echo can sync with your iCloud calendar, so it’s a bit strange that that feature isn’t available on the HomePod (not yet, at least)’.
Perhaps this feature may come in future, however, the clear focus on this first version of HomePod is superior sound and ease of use with iOS devices and Apple Music.
4. HomePod doesn’t work well with other streaming services besides Apple Music
‘To be clear, streaming services like Spotify, Pandora, and Tidal will work on HomePod – they just won’t work very well’. Why should they? HomePod is designed to work with, and encourage greater use of iTunes and Apple Music.
‘Once your HomePod is synced with your device, you’ll be able to play whatever you’d like through the speaker, thanks to AirPlay. But you won’t be able to control your music using Siri, which takes away a lot of the functionality that makes HomePod “smart.” ‘.
Again, why would Apple design a premium device such as HomePod to work as well with competing services? It is designed to work closely with Apple’s services and to display its best features with Apple’s services.
5. HomePod can’t hook up to another device using an auxiliary cord
‘HomePod does not have any inputs, so there’s no way to plug in an auxiliary cord to listen on a non-supported device’.
HomePod doesn’t need an auxiliary cord to work seamlessly in the Apple ecosystem. Why add an unneeded port to support a competitor’s product?
6. HomePod can’t make calls on its own
‘Right now, if you say “Hey Siri, call mum,” it can handle that in a matter of seconds. But in order to make a call using HomePod, you have to dial the person’s number on your iPhone, then manually select that the call to play through HomePod. It works great, but it takes a few steps to get there’.
So what’s the problem here? If a contact is in your iPhone, you can call using ‘Hey Siri’. No, HomePod doesn’t have a keypad to enter phone numbers (that’s what a phone is for), and you can’t dictate numbers to it, which sounds like an amazingly cumbersome way to make a call.
7. HomePod can’t answer random questions
‘The HomePod version of Siri isn’t prepared to answer random questions like Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s not 100% clear what the device’s limitations are exactly, but Apple says Siri on the HomePod is capable of “general knowledge.” That likely means it can’t answer obscure trivia questions, play games, or tell jokes like other smart speakers’.
‘That likely means’ – sounds as if they have no idea what HomePod can or cannot do. Apple advertises that HomePod can answer questions, and if it has a fraction of Siri on iOS capabilities, Siri will be extremely useful. So it may not tell crappy jokes and push you to buy from Amazon…. It also doesn’t feature crappy sound…
The ONE important factor that sets HomePod apart from Alexa and Google Home
If you want a crappy speaker that tracks your every word and sends them to Amazon or Google, that focusses solely on getting you to buy products (Amazon) or mines your words to target you with advertising (Google), by all means, buy their product. Be prepared for sound and product quality that reflects the ridiculously low price.
If you want an intelligent speaker that delivers quality sound and features seen only in extremely expensive speaker systems such as B&O’s $85,000 Beolab 90 speakers, and also works seamlessly with iOS devices and Apple Music, it’s a no-brainer. – Rush out and buy a (2?) HomePod!
Underhand reporting, and clickbait?
So, seriously what about 7 crucial things HomePod can’t do? Reality is, the ‘reporter/s’ dug around to find whatever they could to complain about, without any consideration of what the HomePod is, it’s capabilities, and it’s target market. Sounds a bit like the same ‘reporters’ who bitched because Apple didn’t make a $100 phone.
Just one final point.I first saw the above article on Business Insider on January 29 (Australian Time). In researching, I discovered the almost identical content on https://elexonic.com dated January 28 (USA time). This begs the question, why does the same content appear on two apparently unrelated sites at the same time? Elexonic is registered in San Jose and focusses on the US market. Business Insider (a part of the same network that includes Gizmodo, another Apple hater and dodgy prediction site) gives an Australian address. In the Elexonic article one of the pictures is attributed to Avery Hartmans at Business Insider, however, that’s as close as either article comes to attributing to the other site.
Are both sites ashamed to admit they work in concert and/or use each other’s content? Business Insider is clearly ashamed of its reporting as they offer no opportunity to comment directly on their deceptive articles.