In Australia, Google's Home has been available for some time, while Amazon's Alexa devices - the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Plus - was only released this month, finally bringing Antipodeans in line with their USA brethren. Who tells the best jokes? "We made you a playlist", Sonos said in the tweet. And it's an acknowledgement that, like it or not, there are going to be multiple parties in this space. Siri doesn't know any, while Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa both tie for groaningly very bad dad joke of the year.
This year, 30 million people in the US will use an Amazon Echo, according to eMarketer, which projected overall voice-enabled smart speak share at 68% for Amazon Echo and 25% for Google Home. Apple makes no bones that HomePod is a music-first speaker, and it sounds terrific, all the more notable given how small it is.
From a "smart speaker" perspective, HomePod's strongest suit is its six-microphone array, which can hear you say "Hey Siri" at a distance at a reasonable volume, even when the speakers are loudly playing music.
But HomePod isn't really a smart speaker - not yet at least. But the way its underlying system operates may not make it so easy.
When combined with household smart devices - like smart power switches, lights, air-conditioning and heating - users can also program Siri to automatically use a range of devices upon a single command. Cortana comes standard on Windows machines but it's also available for download on Android and iOS. This means that the speaker supports audio input from a variety of devices, unlike the HomePod, which relies on Apple's AirPlay technology.
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TechCrunch: "Apple's HomePod is easily the best sounding mainstream smart speaker ever". "Clearly, there are a lot of Siri devices out there, but they've barely been able to leverage Siri in the home environment, much less in business".
From the look of it, Apple sees HomePod mainly as a way to extend the reach of its Apple Music service, not Siri. So while its rivals are spreading their AI into every corner of our lives, Apple is keeping it locked up in the company's expensive products. Apple would need to mobilise a considerable number of developers to enlarge its capabilities beyond this.
With this being central to the speaker systems, each assistant is more than adequate, but each carries its own advantages and disadvantages. Google is already known for being able to answer nearly any question and help you get from A to B. Microsoft products can be found in nearly every workplace.
Voice recognition is obviously critical in any Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo vs. Google Home comparison, and it will be disappointing for potential Apple consumers that Siri is somewhat behind the other two intelligent operating systems here as well.
While these firms each want to become your assistant everywhere, Apple is betting instead on your love of sound quality.