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APPLE HITS HOME

After a hype-heavy waiting period since its announcement in June, the Apple HomePod is nearly here (it officially lands on 2/9). In the months leading up to its arrival, Apple had been emphasizing the superiority of the product's audio quality over that of its competitors, namely Amazon's Echo products and Google Home.

According to multiple reviews, the sound quality seems to check out. It's been described as being better by far than that of other home devices. Apple's website goes into detail on the technology of the device's ability to gauge room size and adjust its settings accordingly. That and the HomePod's voice recognition technology appear to be the major selling points.

However, some reviewers complain that the range of Siri's vocal commands is limited. It can't call you an Uber or access your calendar or make a phone call, even if it's linked to your phone. This is because Apple claims to be committed to building a speaker first, with intent to add the features we come to expect from competing home devices in software updates later.

Additionally, the HomePod comes best recommended to those already loyal to Apple products. The device requires the consumer to own an iOS product (iPhone, iPad, Mac products) and exclusively functions with Apple Music and Apple TV. Third party streaming services can only be played via Airplay on the linked phone or tablet and render the vocal command feature useless. 

The general feedback seems to be that the device scores low in functionality if it's being graded as an AI-assistant. But if you review based off the function it was built to fulfill, as a best-in-class speaker, commenters say it lives up to the hype.

As to whether this particular pod will replace you with a plant-like duplicate that follows the dictates of an extraterrestrial hive mind, Cupertino says there's probably nothing to worry about.

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