Apple's Siri-driven smart speaker is here

February 21, 2018

 

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Apple's been hyping the HomePod, its wireless Siri-enabled smart speaker, for months now. 

And it's finally (almost) here. It'll be in stores on Feb. 9 and up for pre-order Jan. 26, shipping in the U.S., UK, and Australia. 

 

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The central purpose of the HomePod is as a music player. If you have an Apple Music subscription, Siri will be able to find you the music you're looking for, and tailor it to your preferences and tastes. 

 

It's outfitted with six microphones, meaning it can hear your call of "Hey Siri" from across the room, even while music is playing. It's seven inches tall and outfitted with a seamless mesh fabric. It's enabled with spatial recognition, meaning it can sense where it's located and adjust its audio settings accordingly.

 

And if you just can't get enough HomePod, you can set up two of them in the same room as a stereo pair to really blast your music. You can also play music throughout your house with multi-room audio. But most products aren't perfect upon launch and the HomePod is no exception: These features won't be available until later this year. 

 

In addition to playing songs for you, Siri can inform you about those songs. She can answer questions like "Hey Siri, when was this song released?" or "Hey Siri, who is this artist?" HomePod can access the Apple Music library, as well as your iTunes library, even when it's offline. 

You can also connect it to your iPhone, and use it to make speaker phone calls. 

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