Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo: The similarities and differences, explained

Apple Home Pod WWDC 2017

DAILY STAR ONLINE MUSiC MACHINE The Home Pod has just been unveiled at WWDC in California

Apple also used its annual developer meeting - its largest ever with some 5,000-people attending - to announce the next version of its mobile operating system - iOS 11 - which will include a new setting for people who use their iPhone in the vehicle.

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space grey starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.

However, unlike Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple is positioning HomePod more as an alternative to connected music-systems from Sonos and Bose. Well, it really is Apple's version of a smart home speaker. "Music is deep in our DNA, dating back to iTunes and iPod".

There are only a few such smart speakers now that adjust the sound output based on their presence and the number of speakers in the same room. "I think when people listen to it, they're going to be shocked over the quality of the sound". "And of course it does a lot of other things too. but we wanted a really high-quality audio experience as well".

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Either way, the HomePod has been announced and arrives later this year.

In fact, the AI assistant can learn a user's preference when they tell it, "Hey Siri, I like this song". At $350 a speaker, HomePod is almost double the price of Amazon Echo, which retails for $180. If not, grabbing an Echo Dot and a Bose may be a more flexible and affordable solution.

Take a look at the HomePod's product page and you'll get an idea: The focus is on sound and speaker specs first and foremost, with nods to Siri and Apple's HomeKit smart home platform tucked underneath.

It is very easy to setup a HomePod as it only requires the user to hold the iPhone close to the HomePod and it is smart enough to detect it and start playing music.

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Compared to the audio quality of Apple's new HomePod, the Amazon Echo is a significant mismatch. To listen to music from a library or any other services, you'll need to stream them via Airplay from an iPhone or iPad.

On a monthly basis, that means about 35.6 million consumers are chatting with Google Home, Amazon Echo, or a similar device. But their approaches are different.

The dimensions of the Apple HomePod are 6.8 inches in height and 5.6 inches in width. Not a shocking move on Apple's part. So it has to prove that it can make a good speaker before calling it the best speaker ever.

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