Apple HomePod Review: I for incomplete

Apple HomePod Review: I for incomplete

Matt Boland

Apple enters the highly competitive race of smart home speakers with its new HomePod, but trips and falls on its face inches from the finish line.

Apple’s $350 HomePod is the most narcissistic product Apple has ever made. For starters, if you own an Android phone you can stop reading this review now. Don’t buy the HomePod, it isn’t for you. The HomePod only works if you have an iPhone. Have an iPhone but subscribe to Spotify? Don’t bother, the HomePod only works with an Apple Music subscription. Have smart home devices that aren’t compatible with Apple’s HomeKit? Well the HomePod will simply pretend those devices don’t exist, sorry Nest users.

Now if you are one of those people who are an Apple loyalist and are still considering purchasing the HomePod, I’ll break down my first week with it.

The first thing you will notice is the sound of the speaker. This is hands down the best sounding smart speaker I’ve heard. The HomePod packs a punch. Everything sounds crisp and clean and it sounds good anywhere you set it. This is because the HomePod uses six built in mics to sense where it’s at in room. It can detect walls and directs the sound away from the wall. And if you move the device it’s fine because the HomePod knows it’s been moved and does the same process again so the user always has the best sound quality.

So the speaker of the HomePod sounds great, and it should, but the “smart” aspect of this smart speaker is its weakest component. Siri just can’t do what Alexa and Google Assistant can. Siri on the HomePod can do basic things you would expect from a smart speaker, like play music, give you the weather, turn on and off lights but it’s also very limited. Siri can’t make calls from the HomePod, it can’t give you recipes and can’t even set more than one timer at once.

Another glaring issue is that the HomePod can’t differentiate between voices, so anyone can tell the home pod to send a text from your phone and it will do it without hesitation. You can turn off this feature so no one can send texts from the HomePod, but disabling a useful feature seems counterintuitive especially when your product is already lacking features.

At this point, I wouldn’t recommend the HomePod to anyone, even die hard Apple fans. The HomePod just feels incomplete, there are too many features that are missing to justify that price tag. Now, could the HomePod get better? Yes, and it should if it wants to compete. The hardware is fine, the speaker is great, Apple just needs to work on the software and hopefully with software updates the HomePod will be worth revisiting.

The Apple Homepod can be purchased at several tech-based retailers for $349.99. It cannot however be purchased through Amazon.