Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

Here's how Apple is displaying HomePod in its retail stores [Gallery]

Here's how Apple is displaying HomePod in its retail stores [Gallery]

Finally, the HomePod is yet another major brick in Apple's walled garden.

In fact, the smart speaker company welcomed the "Fruit Machine" to the biz by trolling it with a custom Spotify playlist, which we first spotted on 9to5Mac.

Amazon Echo essentially houses Alexa, the personal assistant developed by the huge company.

There's also the thing with Apple's tendency to lock its products inside its own ecosystem.

So can Siri take on Alexa?

The Google Home Max is available in Chalk and Charcoal for $399.

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As for multi-room options, the Apple speaker will be able to play music across multiple HomePods with AirPlay 2. But it must be said that the Amazon device delivers the best AI capabilities.

How does it compare with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos One?

At its spacious loft, in rooms both big and small, its sound quality was rich and resonant, allowing for a fine details like guitar strumming, background percussion and vocals to come through crisp and clear.

Digital interaction is another key area of the Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home war, and again one that the Amazon device deals with particularly capably.

Apple has explained that HomePod automatically tunes itself for each environment, with an accelerometer that detects when the speaker has been moved and triggers an acoustic scan of the room. For instance, the HomePod is only compatible with Apple devices.

Meanwhile, the Google Home Max can be combined with Chromecast Audio or speakers with Chromecast to play music across multiple rooms. This is a nifty feature which arguably gives the device an edge over the other two speakers here.

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One of the worst HomePod limitations is its inability to distinguish different voices, meaning anyone can ask the HomePod to read or send text messages on behalf of the HomePod owner if the owner said yes to all the setup prompts, according to the Verge.

Early HomePod reviews have praised the speakers "phenomenal" sound quality, setting Apple way ahead of competing devices in terms of audio playback, however; reviewers have noted how Siri's limited functionality lets the device down compared to Amazon Alexa that can perform a much wider range of tasks.

There is no doubt that Google has a big advantage over the other two competitors thanks to its emphasis on searching, and this is indeed reflected in the performance of its system.

With the Apple HomePod seemingly struggling to compete with the other two speakers on an even footing, it is important to emphasize at this point that this speaker does have its advantages in the Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home war.

If you fit that description and are willing to fork over $349 plus embrace the subscription-only Apple Music streaming service, HomePod is well worth the wait, an outcome I reached after testing the speaker for just shy of a week.

There are no bones about it; HomePod is a superb wireless audio speaker.

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The United Kingdom is the second of Apple's three launch countries to begin deliveries, in-store pick-ups and sales of HomePod.

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