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  Reply # 1948604 30-Jan-2018 13:15
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Apple are doing themselves no favours in this highly competitive market.  But people like will buy it, and since they're pretty flush for cash I feel they can afford to be knobs about continuing to lock people into their ecosystem.  That said, they have put Apple Music on Android....and there rumblings iMessage may make it there too.  So there's always a chance they'll unblock their ears and be a bit more open about things.

 

 


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  Reply # 1948608 30-Jan-2018 13:26
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Is Airplay 2 a thing yet?

 

They've talked and talked about it, even saying that other companies would be launching with it... but nothing has happened to date.

 

 

 

If you want a smart speaker, 1st, get a standard speaker that sounds great then plug in something else to make it smart. I have a host of Alexa capable products and I don't think any of them are ready for the mainstream in NZ yet. Fun to muck around with, but I believe that very soon they'll end up in the old 'electronics waterproof box' that lives in my garage...


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  Reply # 1948621 30-Jan-2018 14:07
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Geektastic:

 

There's not a great deal of integration required to play music. My Bose speaker and my B&W Zeppelin all 'integrate flawlessly' with my iMac...

 

 

Can you say to your speakers "Hey Siri, play Beats 1 Radio", or "Hey Siri, play my [insert playlist name here] playlist on shuffle"?

 

Or do you have to go into iTunes and select an AirPlay source (or even worse, manually make a Bluetooth connection from your iMac) every time you want to use/switch them?

 

(Genuine questions because I would love that too).


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  Reply # 1948761 30-Jan-2018 18:28
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Benjip:

 

Geektastic:

 

There's not a great deal of integration required to play music. My Bose speaker and my B&W Zeppelin all 'integrate flawlessly' with my iMac...

 

 

Can you say to your speakers "Hey Siri, play Beats 1 Radio", or "Hey Siri, play my [insert playlist name here] playlist on shuffle"?

 

Or do you have to go into iTunes and select an AirPlay source (or even worse, manually make a Bluetooth connection from your iMac) every time you want to use/switch them?

 

(Genuine questions because I would love that too).

 

 

 

 

No, but under no circumstances I can envisage would I ever do that, even if I could. Siri exists on my iMac, for example, but I can safely say that it never ever gets used. Likewise when I had iPhones, my entire Siri use was "Siri, dial Fred Bloggs mobile" when I was driving.






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  Reply # 1949190 31-Jan-2018 12:12
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Geektastic:

 

Benjip:

 

Can you say to your speakers "Hey Siri, play Beats 1 Radio", or "Hey Siri, play my [insert playlist name here] playlist on shuffle"?

 

Or do you have to go into iTunes and select an AirPlay source (or even worse, manually make a Bluetooth connection from your iMac) every time you want to use/switch them?

 

(Genuine questions because I would love that too).

 

 

No, but under no circumstances I can envisage would I ever do that, even if I could. Siri exists on my iMac, for example, but I can safely say that it never ever gets used. Likewise when I had iPhones, my entire Siri use was "Siri, dial Fred Bloggs mobile" when I was driving.

 

 

That's a shame (for you), Siri definitely makes certain tasks easier/faster. I use her several times a day to set reminders, change playlists etc..

 

It sounds like you're not really invested in the Apple ecosystem so I'm not surprised a HomePod doesn't interest you.


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  Reply # 1949200 31-Jan-2018 12:24
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Dunnersfella:

 

Is Airplay 2 a thing yet?

 

 

"Coming 2018"

 

Probably will be available once iOS 11.3 is released (sometime in the autumn)

 

 





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  Reply # 1958634 15-Feb-2018 14:52
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So as a PSA, apparently some Homepods have been leaving a white ring on wooden furniture they are sitting on. Something to do with the silicon base on them, so you may want to consider sitting it on something.

(Source CNet)




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  Reply # 1958639 15-Feb-2018 15:14
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Dingbatt: So as a PSA, apparently some Homepods have been leaving a white ring on wooden furniture they are sitting on. Something to do with the silicon base on them, so you may want to consider sitting it on something.

(Source CNet)

 

Clearly the fault of furniture makers who hadn't planned for the HomePod. Won't stop me from buying one!


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  Reply # 1958658 15-Feb-2018 16:13
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Benjip:

Dingbatt: So as a PSA, apparently some Homepods have been leaving a white ring on wooden furniture they are sitting on. Something to do with the silicon base on them, so you may want to consider sitting it on something.

(Source CNet)


Clearly the fault of furniture makers who hadn't planned for the HomePod. Won't stop me from buying one!


Forewarned is forearmed.




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  Reply # 1958659 15-Feb-2018 16:19
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Benjip:

 

That's a shame (for you), Siri definitely makes certain tasks easier/faster. I use her several times a day to set reminders, change playlists etc..

 

 

Reviews appear to indicate that the sound, (while good) is not any better than other "smart speakers"

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/12/homepod-sonos-google-max-comparison/

 

"Consumer Reports has conducted some early audio testing of the HomePod, and while the full evaluation isn't yet finished, the site believes that both the $400 Google Home Max and the $200 Sonos One sound better than Apple's new $349 smart speaker. "

 

While the AI integration of Siri is still basic compared to the competition,

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/10/siri-on-homepod-new-ai-test/

 

"Compared to previous tests of rival speakers, HomePod is "at the bottom of the totem pole" in the AI assistant performance category. Google Home answered 81 percent correctly, Amazon's Alexa answered 64 percent correctly, and Microsoft's Cortana answered 57 percent correctly"

 

I imagine that Apple will work hard to try to improve these in the second iteration, but until that happens it does appear to be a  bit of a "work in progress"


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  Reply # 1958669 15-Feb-2018 16:50
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wellygary:

 

Reviews appear to indicate that the sound, (while good) is not any better than other "smart speakers"

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/12/homepod-sonos-google-max-comparison/

 

"Consumer Reports has conducted some early audio testing of the HomePod, and while the full evaluation isn't yet finished, the site believes that both the $400 Google Home Max and the $200 Sonos One sound better than Apple's new $349 smart speaker. "

 

While the AI integration of Siri is still basic compared to the competition,

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/10/siri-on-homepod-new-ai-test/

 

"Compared to previous tests of rival speakers, HomePod is "at the bottom of the totem pole" in the AI assistant performance category. Google Home answered 81 percent correctly, Amazon's Alexa answered 64 percent correctly, and Microsoft's Cortana answered 57 percent correctly"

 

I imagine that Apple will work hard to try to improve these in the second iteration, but until that happens it does appear to be a  bit of a "work in progress"

 

 

Ahhh the old pick & choose reviews game. How about these ones:

 

To be absolutely clear, there was no comparison in sound quality. HomePod offered so much more quality that it was quite literally laughable to hear the others. The only speaker that sounded decent was the Sonos One, but even it couldn’t compete with HomePod. - The Loop

 

The result is a speaker with a deep bass and rich treble that is loud enough to fill a large room with superb sound. HomePod makes the Amazon Echo and Google’s Home sound muffled and tinny in comparison. - The New York Times

 

The limitations of Siri are exactly why Apple is marketing the HomePod as a speaker first, smart assistant second (as opposed to the Echo devices or Google Home).


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  Reply # 1958670 15-Feb-2018 16:53
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wellygary:

 

Benjip:

 

That's a shame (for you), Siri definitely makes certain tasks easier/faster. I use her several times a day to set reminders, change playlists etc..

 

 

Reviews appear to indicate that the sound, (while good) is not any better than other "smart speakers"

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/12/homepod-sonos-google-max-comparison/

 

"Consumer Reports has conducted some early audio testing of the HomePod, and while the full evaluation isn't yet finished, the site believes that both the $400 Google Home Max and the $200 Sonos One sound better than Apple's new $349 smart speaker. "

 

While the AI integration of Siri is still basic compared to the competition,

 

https://www.macrumors.com/2018/02/10/siri-on-homepod-new-ai-test/

 

"Compared to previous tests of rival speakers, HomePod is "at the bottom of the totem pole" in the AI assistant performance category. Google Home answered 81 percent correctly, Amazon's Alexa answered 64 percent correctly, and Microsoft's Cortana answered 57 percent correctly"

 

I imagine that Apple will work hard to try to improve these in the second iteration, but until that happens it does appear to be a  bit of a "work in progress"

 

 

 

 

And then there's this:

 

Reddit audiophiles test HomePod, say it sounds better than $1,000 speaker

 

 





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  Reply # 1958672 15-Feb-2018 16:54
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I myself don't see the need to rush for an Apple Homepod; in fact I always avoid the first generation of Apple's new product line...

 

I choose to separate the need for (and use of) a smart speaker from that of a decent wifi/Bluetooth speaker which I use purely for enjoying music.  I have a Klipsch The Three speaker in the bedroom and I really like its sound quality; I hooked it up with one Echo dot and it works well.  For the kitchen I have a Sonos One, the sound of which is good but in my personal opinion not as good as my Klipsch The Three.  Besides I haven't worked out how to use Alexa with Sonos One in NZ?  I've linked Alexa with my Sonos One however don't see how I could play Sonos One via Alexa, as when I try to use the "voice control" function on Sonos app, it's still showing the service unavailable in NZ.

 

I unsubscribed Apple Music after using it for 2 years now and rely purely on my Spotify and Tidal subscription for music streaming.  If Apple couldn't get Siri to work in NZ as well as it did in the US, while Homepod's sound quality is only matching Sonos One at best, then I don't see any need to get one at all.  I shall wait and see.

 

I'm yet to experience Google Home/devices.

 

 


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  Reply # 1959106 16-Feb-2018 12:57
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Coil:

 

Do what I did with my laptop but the reverse way. Bought it in NZ, use my Aussie passport to claim GST back at airport, Fly out, Fly back. Profit...

 

Just do not do as I when leaving Australia on my NZ passport and not have the requirements for a claim. I had around $1500 of stuff I bought in Aussie that I was planning to claim on (As it was more expensive here once you get GST back) and then I realized that you must have spent $300+ on each receipt to claim. I cocked that one up.... 

 

 

Not sure this is kosher. You're not exporting the laptop? Isn't this tax fraud? 


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  Reply # 1959123 16-Feb-2018 13:15
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We have a homepod at work, i'd have to say I was really underwhelmed with the sound quality. Not to say it sounds bad, but the way it has been hyped, it did not live up to what I was expecting. No better than equivalents. 


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