Remember when you had to turn on the living room light all by yourself? Nowadays, a lot of people rely on fancy gadgets to pick up some of the more mundane slack in their everyday lives, and that “smart home” technology only seems to be getting more popular. We can set our thermostats right from our phones, watch live footage of what’s happening right outside our front doors, and much, much more.
Apple has just entered the smart home fray with its HomePod. It’s a stylish, compact device that’s equipped with cutting-edge audio technology. “HomePod uses advanced software for real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, echo cancellation, and more, powered by Apple’s A8 chip, delivering a wide, spacious soundstage,” the company explained when unveiling the product. “Using spatial awareness to sense its location in the room, it automatically adjusts the audio to sound great wherever it is placed.”
This, of course, means that it’s the perfect smart speaker, and when you pair it with your smartphone or computer, you get instant access to your entire iTunes music collection, as well as the Apple Music subscription service, which the company says boasts one of the largest libraries in the world. Too many options to choose from? Don’t panic: Siri can help you by suggesting tracks that match your musical preferences. Over time, the program learns more about what you like to listen to and refines its recommendations accordingly.
And music is just one aspect of the HomePod, which has plenty of other tricks up its virtual sleeve. Want to listen to your favorite podcast? No problem. Wat to send a message? Done. You can even use it as a hub to control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories. We personally love the fact that you can use simple, intuitive voice commands to tell the device to make your living room cooler, dim the lights, or whatever else you want. No more futzing with buttons to adjust the thermostat. As if all that wasn’t enough, you can also use the HomePod as a speakerphone for important phone calls.
The seven-inch-tall device is stylish in Apple’s usual minimalist way. It’s available in both white and “space gray” and covered in a seamless mesh fabric for a classy aesthetic. Getting connected is simple: “It’s as easy and intuitive as setting up AirPods — simply hold an iPhone next to HomePod, and it’s ready to start playing music in seconds,” the company explains. “The Siri waveform appears on the top to indicate when Siri is engaged, and integrated touch controls also allow easy navigation.”
Above all else, HomePod is designed to help you be productive. It lets you access iOS apps by directing any requests you make on your HomePod directly to your primary device for processing. Use it to access WhatsApp, set reminders, take notes, and create to-do lists.
There’s still no word on whether or not the HomePod can make breakfast in bed, but we’ll go ahead and put that on our wish list for the next update.