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Welcome to our weekend Apple Breakfast column, which packs all of the Apple information you missed this week into one useful, bite-sized roundup. We name it Apple Breakfast as a result of we predict it goes nice with a cup of espresso or tea within the morning, however it’s nice if you wish to learn it over lunch or dinner too.
This week I have been engaged on Macworld’s overview of Apple’s new HomePod and spoiler alert: it is a horny, well-made machine with nice sound. But it surely’s additionally fairly complicated to judge. The query I hold coming again to is that this: Who is that this for?
Famously and considerably mysteriously, Apple discontinued the unique HomePod in 2021 a couple of months after launching the $99 HomePod mini. On the time, most consultants assumed this was an admission that the full-size mannequin simply wasn’t. it was promoting: it was costly, in any case, and it did not work effectively with Android telephones or streaming companies apart from Apple Music. . It additionally had an annoying non-detachable energy wire and a reported tendency to go away round white marks on individuals’s furnishings. The HomePod mini did not clear up all of these issues, however it’s quite a bit simpler to forgive flaws while you’re paying $99 as a substitute of $299.
If the gross sales figures have been The issue is, it’s kind of complicated that Apple has chosen to launch one other full-size HomePod that appears nearly equivalent to the unique. There are some modifications, in fact, and in case you purchased the primary HomePod and returned it in disgust, your annoyances could have been solved: the ability wire is now removable, whereas the bottom (just like the HomePod mini’s) is a flat circle. as a substitute of a hoop, and far much less liable to leaving marks. However broader questions stay.
Regardless of a barely cheaper price than the primary HomePod at launch, that is nonetheless an costly sensible speaker that is not very sensible (because of Siri’s continued blemishes) and would not play effectively with most services. exterior of the Apple ecosystem. And it is laborious to see this altering the minds of those that weren’t impressed with the unique mannequin.
Within the meantime, these like me, the individuals who owned the primary HomePod and appreciated all its flaws, are unlikely to be pressured to improve. The brand new mannequin is best in some methods, with an even bigger display screen and extra balanced audio output, however not sufficient to warrant a substitute. And it might probably’t be arrange as a stereo pair with its 2018 counterpart. The improve path simply is not very convincing.
There are potentialities that we could not have thought of. It is doable, for instance, that the unique HomePod offered effectively and was discontinued for different causes; points with manufacturing throughout the pandemic, maybe. It is also doable that the brand new HomePod is a part of a broader technique to deal with the sensible dwelling, and is not anticipated to make a lot cash by itself. Maybe Apple thinks the HomePod mini is extra enticing when paired with a higher-priced, status product, or simply thinks it is foolish to promote a mini product when there’s nothing greater on the market.
Regardless of the reasoning, and Apple typically is aware of what it is doing, I am undecided I comply with it. However on the similar time, I just like the HomePod, which can offer you an concept of how troublesome it has been to write down this overview. If you wish to learn it in full, tune in to Macworld subsequent week.
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I’ve tested the new HomePod and I still don’t know why Apple re-released it