First came the iPods. It changed the way we carry our music. Then came the AirPods. It changed how we listen to our music. And yesterday, Apple unveiled the HomePod which it hopes will change the way we relax with music in our homes. It’s a small white/space grey cylindrical nondescript being with a shiny mesh all around it. But don’t judge it by the looks because this speaker packs some serious firepower underneath. And it’s smart enough to use it to the optimum. But it may all sound all too similar. Amazon did the same. Google followed it up. Microsoft also didn’t want to be left behind. Now Apple joins the race. Tim Cook attacked benignly. “There are many companies making products for enjoying music in the home but none have nailed it yet.” He namechecked Sonos, the wireless speaker systems, which “sound good but not smart” and referred to Google Home and Amazon Echo as “other smart speakers” that “don’t sound great.” With the HomePod, Tim Cook said, “we want to combine it all.” Let’s take a good hard look at Apple’s weapon to reinvent music in your home.

How does it look like?

1/4How does it look like?
How does it look like?
The HomePod is speaker is really minimalist. Place it anywhere and it will just blend in. It is less than seven inches tall and comes in either white or space grey. It comes with automatic room-sensing technology which allows the HomePod to quickly learn its position in a room, whether it’s in a corner, on a table or in a bookshelf, and within seconds, is perfectly optimized to deliver an immersive music listening experience wherever it is placed.

What’s inside the HomePod?

2/4What’s inside the HomePod?
What’s inside the HomePod?
HomePod packs some impressive speaker technology underneath. There’s a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters, each with its own amplifier, which combines to provide a well-balanced smooth timbre as well as precise directional control of a multitude of beam shapes and sizes. Managing all this firepower is a custom Apple-designed A8 chip which enables bass management through real-time software modeling that ensures the speaker delivers the deepest and cleanest bass possible, with low distortion.

To handle your conversations with Siri, there is a six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation enabling Siri to understand people whether they are near the device or standing across the room, even while loud music is playing.

What can Siri do in the HomePod?

3/4What can Siri do in the HomePod?
What can Siri do in the HomePod?
Siri will be your personal musicologist in the HomePod. It will learn from your preferences through hundreds of genres and moods, across ens of thousands of playlists and these music tastes will be shared across devices. But Siri is also a know-it-all when it comes to music. You can ask questions like, “Hey Siri, who’s the drummer in this?” or even create a shared Up Next playlist with everyone in the room.

But then the HomePod is also a home assistant and it do a lot like send messages, get updates on news, check for sports scores and weather and control home devices like turning on the lights, close the shades or activating a scene. When you are away from home, the HomePod will look after your devices. You can remotely access it and your home automations through the Home app on the iPhone and the iPad.

What is the price and when will it be available?

4/4What is the price and when will it be available?
What is the price and when will it be available?
HomePod is priced at $349 (roughly Rs 22,450) and will be available in white and space grey from December. Initially, it will only be available in the US, UK and Australia. HomePod will be compatible with the iPhone 5s or higher, running iOS 11.