Apple HomePod: Everything to Know Before Buying 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.

Apple HomePod: Everything to Know Before Buying in India

Nonetheless, identical to many different Apple gadgets, it isn’t meant for everybody and is focused at a distinct segment viewers. The sensible speaker by Apple is predicated 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 tag of Rs. 19,900 in India. That is decrease than the $299 (roughly Rs. 22,600) worth currently applicable within the US, although it is usually discounted now. The India worth of the HomePod places it proper up towards the Amazon Echo Studio, which was launched last year at Rs. 22,999. So how good is the HomePod in the case of 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.

 

Apple HomePod is out there 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 machine is as fantastically crafted as another Apple product and may subtly mix in with any a part of your private home. Its cylindrical form and mesh cloth overlaying make it appear like a sexy piece of {hardware} even when not in use. Furthermore, the speaker is 172mm tall and 142mm huge, which helps you to place it on desk, shelf, or TV stand in your lounge 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 acceptable spot to put it in. The bottom has a rubbery end that helps hold the speaker securely in place.

As for specs, the HomePod makes use of Apple’s A8 processor, developed for the iPhone 6, to run everything including 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 regulate every little thing. The HomePod makes use of Wi-Fi 802.1ac and Bluetooth 5 for connectivity.

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Apple HomePod includes 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 here are the solutions to some widespread questions.

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

Apple hasn’t made any main adjustments to the HomePod bought 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 does not have a braided energy cable. Once we checked with Apple, the corporate couldn’t verify a purpose 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 appropriate iPhone or iPad near it. The HomePod will recognise it and duplicate your Apple ID particulars and preferences over robotically. You may get on-screen prompts that that you must faucet one-by-one to finish the setup course of. It is even simpler than organising 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 machine.

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Apple HomePod gives a straightforward setup to iPhone customers

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

No, you needn’t do something after organising your HomePod. It makes use of its microphones to robotically sense the scale of your room and its relative place, and can use this to ship you an optimum sound. Apple calls this “Spatial Consciousness.” We had been capable of get pleasure from a room-filling sound expertise in a 15×10-foot room, with soothing lows and mids in addition to crisp highs. Nonetheless, you do not get 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 machine that you simply use with the HomePod, although.

Do I have to 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 gadgets would generally fail to know what we had been saying when standing in numerous elements of our room, as a consequence 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 educated to know what individuals say in easy English, even with an Indian accent. We requested a number of individuals of various age teams to attempt utilizing Siri, and the outcomes had been acceptable for all of them.

Does the HomePod work solely with Apple gadgets or can or not it’s linked to an Android cellphone as effectively?

You want an iPhone, iPad, or iPod contact to arrange your HomePod. The checklist of appropriate fashions contains the iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Professionals, iPad (5th generation), iPad Air and later, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod contact (sixth era). The machine that you simply’re connecting along with your HomePod additionally must run no less than iOS 13.3.1. As soon as linked and configured, you may play audio tracks out of your sensible TV or MacBook through AirPlay. There is not any official help for Android customers, although. You can not use Bluetooth to pair laptops, smartphones, or different supply gadgets, and there are not 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 available at Rs. 99 a month, and Apple says its assortment contains over 60 million songs and tens of hundreds of playlists. You can even use AirPlay to stream music saved in your native Apple Music library, or from apps akin to Amazon Prime Music, Spotify, or YouTube Music on a appropriate machine. You can even 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 akin to Amazon Prime Music, Gaana, Spotify, or YouTube Music on the HomePod?

Sure, you may play songs from any third-party app, however solely through AirPlay. You possibly can’t ask Siri to play your favorite music from a third-party app. Which means if you wish to use voice instructions to play a selected monitor, you’ll have to use Apple Music. That is in contrast to how one can play music straight 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 does not perceive any Indic language together with Hindi but. With the iOS 13.3.1 update in late January, Apple launched help for Indian English Siri voices on the HomePod. There isn’t a phrase on when or whether or not Hindi help shall be added. It’s 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 help Cantonese, French, German, Mandarin, and Spanish.

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

The HomePod, by means of its Siri integration and Apple Music help, is able to appropriately recognising the names of many common 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 akin to Bir Singh, Dijit Dosanjh, Nimrat Khaira, Shreya Ghoshal, SP Balasubrahmanyam, Tarsem Jassar, and PB Sreenivas. Equally, we had 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 may ask your HomePod to go forwards or backwards, and pause or play a track utilizing your voice instructions. You can even 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 track or talking with somebody on a cellphone name. You possibly can faucet the panel to pause or play a monitor, double-tap to go to the following monitor, and triple-tap to go to the earlier monitor.

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Apple HomePod gives guide quantity controls whereas enjoying an audio

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

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

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

Sure, you may ask Siri on the HomePod to set an alarm or timer. You can even set a reminder for a selected activity after enabling the Personal Requests option utilizing the House app in your iPhone or iPad.

Does the HomePod help contextual replies?

Siri does help contextual replies, which suggests you may ask follow-up inquiries to some extent primarily based on the solutions to a earlier query. The characteristic is at present fairly restricted in scope, although.

Does the HomePod enable me to ship or obtain messages?

You possibly can definitely ask Siri in your HomePod to ship a message or learn what you’ve got acquired. To ship a brand new message, all that you must 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 does 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 cellphone calls utilizing the HomePod?

Sure, you may ask Siri in your HomePod to make a cellphone name for you. You can even reply your calls straight on the HomePod, and you’ll examine for missed calls in your cellphone. Additional, you may ask Siri to play your most up-to-date voicemail. It’s, nonetheless, vital to focus on that the HomePod does not make any sound when a cellphone name is available in, identical to you do not get notified of any new messages until you have already got your cellphone on you. Additionally, you will not be capable to 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 cellphone calls, the HomePod does not help iPhone system audio. Which means in the event you get an electronic mail or message on an app akin 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 hook up with the HomePod through Bluetooth?

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

Can the HomePod be used to regulate sensible gadgets?

Apple has built-in HomeKit help into the HomePod to allow you to management supported sensible lights, switches, followers, and sensors utilizing voice instructions. You can even arrange routines through the Shortcuts app in your iPhone or iPad to let the HomePod execute sequences of actions robotically. That mentioned, the checklist of HomeKit-supported gadgets is restricted when relative to sensible gadgets that help Alexa and Google Assistant.

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

The cable out there with the HomePod is just not formally detachable, however there are some tales on the Internet that describe methods to take away it. We do not suggest you to take action as this may void your official guarantee. You’ll need to go to an Apple service centre if in case you have any hassle with the cable.

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

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

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Apple HomePod has a multiuser choice, nevertheless it’s but to be out there for Indian customers

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

Sure, you may disable Siri on the HomePod by saying “Hey Siri, cease listening!”, or by means of the House app. There isn’t a devoted change on the HomePod to do that. As soon as you’ve got deactivated Siri, you may solely restore it utilizing the House app in your iPhone or iPad.

Can I see my historical past of Siri interactions?

Apple hasn’t carried out any option 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 mentioned to it final, however that is restricted to a couple minutes.

Is there a option to delete my interactions with Siri through the HomePod?

Sure, you may delete your Siri interactions through 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 carried out stereo pairing on the HomePod through AirPlay 2. This allows a 3D surround-sound expertise.

Verdict

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

Nonetheless, if you don’t need your self to lock within the Apple ecosystem, or have a extra restricted finances, you may go for the Amazon Echo or Google Nest audio system, which have wider help for third-party gadgets and companies, and are extra versatile.


Is iPhone SE the last word ‘reasonably priced’ iPhone for India? We mentioned this on Orbital, our weekly know-how podcast, which you’ll be able to subscribe to through Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or simply hit the play button under.

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