Apple announced on Tuesday that its long-anticipated HomePod smart speaker powered by the Siri intelligent personal assistant it’s finally coming early next month, on February 9, 2018.
HomePod is Apple’s response to the smart speaker market, which is currently dominated by Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home. The device is primarily designed to deliver stunning audio quality, works with an Apple Music subscription so you can listen to all of your favorite songs, and it’s powered by Siri so you can do more than listen to music.
Siri enables HomePod users to transform the smart speaker into a personal assistant that can send messages, play podcasts, set timers, check the weather, check the traffic, check the news and sport scores, as well as to control various of other smart appliances you may have at home, which must be HomeKit-enabled, of course.
“HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. 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, beautiful design that is so much fun to use,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
He also added that “We’re so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality. The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favorites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying ‘Hey Siri.’”
Available for pre-order this Friday, January 26
Apple’s HomePod incorporates years of hardware and software innovation. It’s powered by an A8 chip, features a large woofer designed by Apple for deep and clean bass, and it’s extremely easy to set up, just by holding your iPhone next to the HomePod. The device is also compatible with SiriKit for communication with third-party messaging apps like WhatsApp. All hardware and software components are secure and privacy-focused.
Apple also promises to make HomePod capable of playing music throughout the house with multi-room audio through a software update that’s coming later in the year. Those who want to pre-order the HomePod before its official launch on February 9, 2018, can do so this Friday, January 26, on apple.com and the Apple Store app. HomePod has a retail price of $349 USD, $499 AUD, or £319 GBP, and will be first available in the US, UK, and Australia.