Apple HomePod: All the pieces to Know Earlier than Shopping for in India


Apple introduced its HomePod sensible speaker to India final month — over two years after its debut within the US, UK, and Australia in February 2018. The HomePod is designed as Apple’s reply to the Amazon Echo and Google Nest vary of sensible audio system. Nonetheless, identical to many different Apple units, it’s not meant for everybody and is focused at a distinct segment viewers. The sensible speaker by Apple relies across the firm’s Siri voice assistant, which helps you to use voice instructions to carry out sure duties and play music. It options an array of microphones to detect your voice from any a part of a room. There are additionally a number of audio system to ship a room-filling audio expertise.

The Apple HomePod formally carries a price ticket of Rs. 19,900 in India. That is decrease than the $299 (roughly Rs. 22,600) worth at present relevant within the US, although it is typically discounted now. The India worth of the HomePod places it proper up towards the Amazon Echo Studio, which was launched final 12 months at Rs. 22,999. So how good is the HomePod in relation to the sensible speaker expertise? Additionally, is it an adjunct price shopping for for Apple followers in India — if not for all audiophiles? Learn on to get solutions to all these and plenty of different questions you may need in regards to the HomePod.

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Apple HomePod is obtainable in India with a price ticket of Rs. 19,900

 

Apple HomePod design and specs

Earlier than getting deeper into the expertise, let’s check out the design and specs of the Apple HomePod. The gadget is as fantastically crafted as another Apple product and might subtly mix in with any a part of your own home. Its cylindrical form and mesh material masking make it seem like a lovely piece of {hardware} even when not in use. Furthermore, the speaker is 172mm tall and 142mm extensive, which helps you to place it on desk, shelf, or TV stand in your front room or bed room.

The HomePod weighs 2.5kg which is lighter than the three.86kg Echo Studio. In fact, you will not be carrying the HomePod round a lot after discovering an appropriate spot to put it in. The bottom has a rubbery end that helps preserve the speaker securely in place.

As for specs, the HomePod makes use of Apple’s A8 processor, developed for the iPhone 6, to run every part together with Siri responses. There’s an array of seven tweeters, every with its personal amplifier, and a high-excursion woofer with a 20mm diaphragm. There are additionally six microphones positioned such that they’ll choose up your voice instructions from any path. A touch-sensitive panel on the highest of the speaker is used to manage every part. The HomePod makes use of Wi-Fi 802.1ac and Bluetooth 5 for connectivity.

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Apple HomePod encompasses a touch-sensitive panel on the highest

 

We have been testing the Apple HomePod for over two weeks to know its key professionals and cons from the attitude of an Indian purchaser, so listed below are the solutions to some widespread questions.

Are there any variations between the Apple HomePod launched in India and what’s accessible within the US?

Apple hasn’t made any main adjustments to the HomePod offered in India in comparison with what was initially launched within the US. Nonetheless, in the event you’re extraordinarily observant, you’ll discover that the India model would not have a braided energy cable. Once we checked with Apple, the corporate couldn’t affirm a motive for this.

How lengthy does it take to arrange the HomePod?

Setup solely takes a few minutes. All you want is to plug your HomePod into an influence socket after which deliver a suitable iPhone or iPad near it. The HomePod will recognise it and duplicate your Apple ID particulars and preferences over robotically. You will get on-screen prompts that you have to faucet one-by-one to finish the setup course of. It is even simpler than establishing a sensible TV, and is much like the way you get began with any current new Apple product. The setup course of for the HomePod is much better than what you will get with an Amazon Echo or Google Nest gadget.

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Apple HomePod offers a simple setup to iPhone customers

 

Do I must make any changes to optimise the audio expertise on the HomePod?

No, you need not do something after establishing your HomePod. It makes use of its microphones to robotically sense the size of your room and its relative place, and can use this to ship you an optimum sound. Apple calls this “Spatial Consciousness.” We have been capable of take pleasure in a room-filling sound expertise in a 15×10-foot room, with soothing lows and mids in addition to crisp highs. Nonetheless, you aren’t getting an adjustable equaliser to tweak the sound profile as per your preferences. You possibly can manually alter EQ settings within the Apple Music app or no matter different music app or supply gadget that you just use with the HomePod, although.

Do I must go near the HomePod for it to know my instructions?

Apple has offered highly effective sufficient microphones that do not require you to come back very near the HomePod to talk with Siri or management your music. Whereas Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant on our Amazon Echo and Google Nest units would generally fail to know what we have been saying when standing in several elements of our room, as a result of ambient noise and music that was enjoying from a TV in the identical room, we discovered that the HomePod was capable of catch most of our instructions with none noticeable delay.

Will the HomePod perceive my accent?

Sure, Siri has been skilled to know what individuals say in easy English, even with an Indian accent. We requested a number of individuals of various age teams to strive utilizing Siri, and the outcomes have been acceptable for all of them.

Does the HomePod work solely with Apple units or can it’s linked to an Android telephone as effectively?

You want an iPhone, iPad, or iPod contact to arrange your HomePod. The checklist of suitable fashions consists of the iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Execs, iPad (fifth technology), iPad Air and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod contact (sixth technology). The gadget that you just’re connecting along with your HomePod additionally must run no less than iOS 13.3.1. As soon as linked and configured, you possibly can play audio tracks out of your sensible TV or MacBook by way of AirPlay. There isn’t any official assist for Android customers, although. You can’t use Bluetooth to pair laptops, smartphones, or different supply units, and there aren’t any bodily inputs.

Is an Apple Music subscription wanted to play music on the HomePod?

The HomePod requires an Apple Music subscription for you to have the ability to use its full music performance. This implies which you can’t ask Siri to stream your favorite music tracks if you do not have Apple Music. At the very least that is now accessible at Rs. 99 a month, and Apple says its assortment consists of over 60 million songs and tens of hundreds of playlists. You can too use AirPlay to stream music saved in your native Apple Music library, or from apps comparable to Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, or YouTube Music on a suitable gadget. You can too ask Siri in your HomePod to play music saved in your native library.

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Apple HomePod requires an Apple Music subscription to ship you a full-fledged expertise

 

Can I play songs from a third-party app comparable to Amazon Prime Music, Gaana, Spotify, or YouTube Music on the HomePod?

Sure, you possibly can play songs from any third-party app, however solely by way of AirPlay. You possibly can’t ask Siri to play your favorite music from a third-party app. Because of this if you wish to use voice instructions to play a specific observe, you’ll have to use Apple Music. That is in contrast to how one can play music instantly from third-party apps together with Amazon Prime Music, Gaana, JioSaavn, Spotify, and YouTube Music on an Amazon Echo or Google Nest speaker. Even Siri on the iPhone enables you to play music from third-party apps.

Does Siri on the HomePod perceive Hindi?

No, Siri would not perceive any Indic language together with Hindi but. With the iOS 13.3.1 replace in late January, Apple launched assist for Indian English Siri voices on the HomePod. There isn’t any phrase on when or whether or not Hindi assist can be added. It is best to choose an Amazon Echo or a Google Nest in the event you would like to make use of Hindi instructions. Nonetheless, the HomePod does at present assist Cantonese, French, German, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Can I ask the HomePod to play a people or regional tune?

The HomePod, by its Siri integration and Apple Music assist, is able to accurately recognising the names of many in style Indian albums, songs, and singers. We succeeded in asking Siri on the HomePod to play a number of Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, and Punjabi songs. It was additionally capable of perceive singer names comparable to Bir Singh, Dijit Dosanjh, Nimrat Khaira, Shreya Ghoshal, SP Balasubrahmanyam, Tarsem Jassar, and PB Sreenivas. Equally, we have been profitable when asking it to play tracks together with Awara Hoon, Baapu Tere Karke, Ivan Yaara Magano, and Phire Elam Dure Giye.

Does the HomePod enable controlling music with voice instructions?

Sure, you possibly can ask your HomePod to go forwards or backwards, and pause or play a tune utilizing your voice instructions. You can too alter the quantity by telling Siri on the HomePod what you need.

Can I management music manually as effectively?

The contact panel on the HomePod enables you to management your music manually. There are quantity buttons that seem if you’re enjoying a tune or talking with somebody on a telephone name. You possibly can faucet the panel to pause or play a observe, double-tap to go to the following observe, and triple-tap to go to the earlier observe.

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Apple HomePod offers handbook quantity controls whereas enjoying an audio

 

Can the HomePod be used as a sensible voice assistant, and might it reply on a regular basis family questions?

Sure, you possibly can ask Siri in your HomePod in regards to the present climate, close by locations, or any normal information questions that you just may need. It makes use of the Web to supply solutions to most of your questions immediately.

Can I ask the HomePod to set an alarm or a reminder?

Sure, you possibly can ask Siri on the HomePod to set an alarm or timer. You can too set a reminder for a selected job after enabling the Private Requests possibility utilizing the House app in your iPhone or iPad.

Does the HomePod assist contextual replies?

Siri does assist contextual replies, which suggests you possibly can ask follow-up inquiries to some extent based mostly on the solutions to a earlier query. The function is at present fairly restricted in scope, although.

Does the HomePod enable me to ship or obtain messages?

You possibly can actually ask Siri in your HomePod to ship a message or learn what you have acquired. To ship a brand new message, all you have to do is say, “Hey Siri, ship a message to [contact name].” You possibly can then communicate your message. After that, Siri will ask you in the event you’re able to ship it to your contact. The HomePod additionally enables you to hear your messages learn out to you. Nonetheless, it would not present any alerts if you obtain a brand new message. Along with textual content messages, Siri on the HomePod additionally works with third-party apps together with Skype for iPhone and WhatsApp.

Can I make telephone calls utilizing the HomePod?

Sure, you possibly can ask Siri in your HomePod to make a telephone name for you. You can too reply your calls instantly on the HomePod, and you’ll test for missed calls in your telephone. Additional, you possibly can ask Siri to play your most up-to-date voicemail. It’s, nevertheless, vital to focus on that the HomePod would not make any sound when a telephone name is available in, identical to you aren’t getting notified of any new messages until you have already got your telephone on you. Additionally, you will not be capable of use an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) that requires keypad enter out of your facet.

Does the HomePod present notification alerts?

No, identical to with messages and telephone calls, the HomePod would not assist iPhone system audio. Because of this in the event you get an electronic mail or message on an app comparable to Slack or WhatsApp in your iPhone, you will not get its notification alert out of your HomePod.

Can the HomePod be linked to a tool utilizing a wired connection?

No, Apple hasn’t offered any ports — not even a 3.5mm audio enter — to allow you to plug something into the HomePod utilizing a cable.

Can I connect with the HomePod by way of Bluetooth?

Apple has offered Bluetooth connectivity on the HomePod, however that is restricted to its proprietary options. Because of this you can not use the HomePod as a Bluetooth speaker.

Can the HomePod be used to manage sensible units?

Apple has built-in HomeKit assist into the HomePod to allow you to management supported sensible lights, switches, followers, and sensors utilizing voice instructions. You can too arrange routines by way of the Shortcuts app in your iPhone or iPad to let the HomePod execute sequences of actions robotically. That stated, the checklist of HomeKit-supported units is proscribed when relative to sensible units that assist Alexa and Google Assistant.

Can I take away or substitute the HomePod’s energy cable?

The cable accessible with the HomePod just isn’t formally detachable, however there are some tales on the Internet that describe methods to take away it. We do not advocate you to take action as it will void your official guarantee. You have to to go to an Apple service centre if in case you have any bother with the cable.

Is there a strategy to arrange a number of customers on the HomePod?

Apple has supplied a HomePod multiuser possibility in sure markets that lets customers arrange the speaker as a household gadget, and permits Siri to personalise experiences for as much as six customers. Nonetheless, this function is not but accessible in India when utilizing the “English (India)” language setting.

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Apple HomePod has a multiuser possibility, but it surely’s but to be accessible for Indian customers

 

Can I forestall Siri on the HomePod from listening to me on a regular basis?

Sure, you possibly can disable Siri on the HomePod by saying “Hey Siri, cease listening!”, or by the House app. There isn’t any devoted swap on the HomePod to do that. As soon as you have deactivated Siri, you possibly can solely restore it utilizing the House app in your iPhone or iPad.

Can I see my historical past of Siri interactions?

Apple hasn’t applied any strategy to allow you to take a look at your historical past of interactions with Siri. You possibly can ask the assistant to repeat what was stated to it final, however that is restricted to a couple minutes.

Is there a strategy to delete my interactions with Siri by way of the HomePod?

Sure, you possibly can delete your Siri interactions by way of the HomePod by going to Siri Historical past> Delete Siri Historical past from the HomePod settings in your House app.

Can I pair two HomePod audio system to get stereo sound?

Sure, Apple has applied stereo pairing on the HomePod by way of AirPlay 2. This allows a 3D surround-sound expertise.

Verdict

The Apple HomePod might be a helpful companion for iPhone and Apple Music customers who want a sensible speaker priced beneath Rs. 20,000. Sound output is nice, and it does have a number of sensible options. It may possibly’t be a alternative for a soundbar or Bluetooth speaker, and it will not work seamlessly with non-Apple units or companies.

Nonetheless, if you do not need your self to lock within the Apple ecosystem, or have a extra restricted price range, you possibly can go for the Amazon Echo or Google Nest audio system, which have wider assist for third-party units and companies, and are extra versatile.


Is iPhone SE the final word ‘inexpensive’ iPhone for India? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly expertise podcast, which you’ll subscribe to by way of Apple Podcasts or RSS, obtain the episode, or simply hit the play button beneath.



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