Can Apple HomePod Challenge Google Home & Amazon Echo? We Find Out!
The Apple HomePod was unveiled at the company’s WWDC held 2 days back, which would now add the HomePod to the likes of Smart Virtual Assistant Speakers already available in the market (Amazon Echo and Google Home).
Just like Amazon Echo and Google Home, the Apple HomePod is an always-listening smart speaker that will stream music, answer your questions and will control your smart home. The Apple HomePod has been positioned as a smart speaker first, but interestingly the HomePod bears a lot in common with both the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.
So can the newest player (Apple HomePod) in the market challenge the incumbents like Google Home and Amazon Echo? We do a comparison of features to find out!
Google Assistant (Google Home) or Alexa (Amazon Echo) or Siri (Apple HomePod)?
The personal voice assistants in all these three speakers differentiate them from the hundreds other Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers available in the market. On a practical note, all of them work almost the same way. They simply use voice recognition to understand the query and respond to them by fetching information or data from the internet or connected local devices. You need to connect the speakers to the internet, and they will send your queries to Google, Amazon or Apple servers respectively, and they will send an appropriate response back to the speaker. Though each one works smart and apt, Google Home is an inch ahead because of Google’s own enhanced search results.
How Smart is the Music Streaming?
Streaming – Both Google Home and Echo supports direct Bluetooth Streaming and on-device Wi-Fi streaming (Plus, Chromecast streaming for Google Home). HomePod streams Apple Music and AirPlay 2 (only from supported devices like iPhone and iPad).
Integrated Music Services – Google Home supports third party apps like Pandora, Spotify, Youtube Music, Google Play Music and Amazon Echo supports Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify. Though HomePod only supports Apple Music and nothing else.
Which is the best in-home Smart Assistant Among the three?
All the smart speakers act as the Home Hub, and HomePod will let you control your all your HomeKit enabled lights and other accessories. Sadly, Apple HomePod will control the HomeKit-enabled lights and accessories and not others. So if you go for an Apple HomePod, you will need to first have HomeKit enabled accessories. The Apple HomePod only works with the Apple HomeKit.
On the other hand Amazon Echo and Google Home supports almost all smart home integrations. Both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home’s Google Assistant will be able to power a swath of compatible home automation products and are directly linked to big home automation companies like Nest, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and WeMo.
Both Amazon Echo and Google Home has ambient LED notification lights atop, which will give you a lighting up for some quick flicker. From notifications for delayed flights to pre-set reminders to upcoming appointments to traffic updates and what not, both Echo and Home stand out to offer you something you will need on a daily basis. On the other hand, Apple didn’t mention of any such productivity feature for their HomePod at the WWDC.
HomePod is the largest of the three, measuring 6.8 by 5.6 inches, the smart speaker will have an array of seven tweeters with a primary woofer. It’s likely to be the more powerful than both Amazon Echo and Google Home, but in terms of features, productivity and support, both Echo and Home will give a hard time to HomePod.
Apple HomePod quite expensive than the other two – and that too by a fair margin. You buy 3 Google Home’s or 2 Amazon Echo’s for the price of one Apple HomePod!
Here is the pricing
- Google Home – $129
- Amazon Echo – $179.99
- Apple HomePod – $349
Given it’s price and features ( or lack of it), it seems very difficult for HomePod to challenge Google Home or Amazon Echo. But go tell that to Apple Fanboys, who, I am pretty sure, will buy these in big numbers!
Apple HomePod will release in the month of December this year, and Apple might add some more features keeping the competition in mind.