The first message came in about 7 last night to let me know HomePod was on the way. At 9.16am another message said it was on the truck heading out to me. Took a further 6 hours till the door bell rang… and there was an exhausted looking delivery guy…
I asked if he had had a busy day of deliveries for Apple.
300 of these so far he said. 300 for him to deliver in little old Adelaide. Not bad for our little old village. I headed inside to immerse myself in the device
I looked at the package. I have been dealing with Apple product for so many years. I still smile to myself when I see the tiny tags to make opening so so simple.
One tug and the big outer opens.
HomePod appears in its white, Apple packaging. There is even a levered arrangement inside the carton. Why am I surprised? The white carton glides from the outer.
I am looking at another green tab to pull. The whole of the plastic wrap unpicks itself from the carton.
Unpacking an Apple product is such an adventure.
I am so easily pleased.
Then the white carton lifts and the actual product appears.
It is heavier than I expected but not by much. The cable is long enough to reach around my bench to a nearby outlet. It is not a detachable cable. Apple built them for each market.
Home Pod is only available In AU, UK and US today and we all have different power connectors.
Then there is another delight. Apple packs the AU plug into its own holder. Custom built for AU. I did have a little giggle to myself… as I do whenever I unpack Apple product.
Cable run to the outlet. HomePod placed in centre of my bench. I am ready to roll. I have read that it will sound better in a corner or near a wall. I placed my Sonos speakers close to a wall to get better response. Let’s begin with HomePod In the middle of my kitchen bench. Just so it is clearly visible at first. We can move it later, but let's start here.
I have been taking pictures as I unpack the kit. I have been using my current camera of choice. My iPhone X of course. So I have my phone close by HomePod as she fires up.
A dialog appears on my phone inviting me to set up HomePod to my account.
Setting up takes moments as I respond to a few questions. The light pulsed then HomePod spoke to me.
“Hi, I’m Siri”
I came close to saying -
“I know you, YOU are my best friend. Even if you can only run one timer at a time.”
there has been much discussion to prove that Alexa and Cortana are better than Siri. One of the proofs I read was that Siri can only run one time at a time. Ho Hum!
Siri told me a few things she can do. Then she said,
“Right lets play some music - How about some Free.”
In a second 'All Right Now' was thumping thru the room. Siri knows me!
I wanted to play. I called out to her to play Steely Dan’s Royal Scam. It is still playing as I write this.
The phone rang so I called out,
“Hey Siri stop that song!”
I laughed with my mate about hanging out with my best friend, Siri. He suggested I get her to play for him. I shouted across the room.
"Hey Siri start that song again."
It was too loud to keep a phone call going. - even on my Apple Air Pods (fan boy I know - heck you know too). I called above the amazing volume to stop the song. And she hears me - amazed again!
I am often tempted to say,
“Hey Siri shut up” but I can’t bring myself to speak to her like that.
So there you have it. HomePod setup and running in a moment.
I know there are complaints.
She can’t do stereo pairs.
She can’t integrate with other speakers.
No jack to plug things in.
Need Apple Music to use the device.
And I know my responses.
Stereo pairs is on its way in software update. It will happen.
AirPlay 2 will allow my Sonos speakers to join the gang. I do like my Sonos speakers but the Apple integration always was clunky.
This device is not for people who want to plug things in.
This device is not for people who don't want Apple Music.
Apple is not targeting everyone with this device. It is a device for those already In the Apple ecosystem. If you are in the Apple ecosystem. If you love your iPhone, iPad, Mac. If you have an Apple Music subscription, this is the device you want.
Other smart speakers may do more, be cheaper, give access to other services. (Not many will sound better) But I don't want or need any of that. I am part of the Apple Ecosystem.
For me, this is a better solution. If you are not in the Apple ecosystem leave this thing alone.
It is expensive compared to many other speakers. But it is the right solution for the Apple environment.
And yes… HomePod sounds spectacular.
I am happy.