Apple to release $349 HomePod smart speaker on February 9th

Apple Details When Home Pod Goes on Sale

Users will be able to talk to Siri using the HomePod to stream songs from Apple Music, listen to podcasts and news, and control smart home devices with HomeKit support. The Apple HomePod smart speaker is releasing on February 9, but goes on sale this coming Friday on January 26.

At long last, Apple has reveled its smart HiFi speaker - meet the HomePod! Not only that, Siri on HomePod will enable users to send messages; set a timer or alarm; search and play a podcast; and give you the news, sport, traffic and weather.

The device will sell for Dollars 349 in a choice of white or space grey. The pre-orders will first open in US, UK and Australia and it will later hit the stores.

Choose "Apple HomePod" or "Google Home". You can talk to the personal assistant with the Hey Siri hotword, and use it to check the news, ask questions, or do anything else you can with Siri on the iPhone or Mac. Although the company has shown up late to the game with certain technologies or devices, there are so many Apple fanatics out there that would prefer to stick to their products rather than trying something new.

HomePod is created to work with an Apple Music subscription, however, so Spotify users need not apply. If you really care about audio quality, it might be worth the purchase.

The HomePod is a direct rival to the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.

It's later than expected, but Apple's answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home will be available at Apple Stores next month. But then that's what Apple products are known for - sporting the most expensive price tags in the tech town, right? As Engadget discovered, the device will ship without multi-room audio or stereo pairing.

Here's what investors need to know about the HomePod's forthcoming launch.

HomePod's ability to play across rooms or be set up with other speakers will not be available until later this year with a software update.

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said: "This is a critically important device for Apple given the significant head start Amazon and Google have in this area". Wider home automation through lighting, thermostats and other products will furthermore be possible using Apple HomeKit - although the list now falls short of competing with the vast number of integrations available through Alexa and Google Assistant.

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