Two video HomePod reviews

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern and the Verge’s Nilay Patel each posted their take on Apple HomePod. Both of these are informative and worth watching.

Enjoy.



  • These are both excellent reviews, very well produced and informative. The best I’ve seen yet.

  • Nick West

    Funny, all the reviews that I’ve read or heard or watched have mentioned – and in same cases focused on – the limitations of Siri, and what the HomePod cant do (opposed to it’s competitors). Siri can’t do this, HomePod can’t do that.

    The word missing is Yet. Show me a competing product that on release, had a well-rounded and fully functional feature set.

    • That’s a really good point. How limited was the competition on introduction? Not that that isn’t a point to be made, that Apple is a late-comer. But I think Patel has a really good point about how Apple needs to open up. Heck, they put iTunes on Windows! Give us a break. Patel’s claim about numbers of Spotify users vs Apple Music users is seemingly old news. Didn’t we just see news this week that Apple Music is poised to overrun Spotify pretty soon?

      • Mo

        Something about this conversation reminds me a bit of Rob Glaser demanding that the original iPod support RealAudio.

        • Which reminds me of a bunch of donut jokes that followed.

        • Tom_P

          He did? Even Windows users hated RealAudio.

          • Mo

            Yeah, Glaser actually believed he could somehow publicly shame Apple into supporting his shitty, proprietary format.

      • Verna

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  • Both great reviews. I’m thinking that Apple has to add a few features to make it what I want. When they do, I’ll buy two. What are they? Let my TV play audio over it automatically if it’s not doing something else. Best if it work through Apple TV. Then Apple TV could pause the movie while I’m dealing with Siri. It also needs to be able to play Tidal in case I want to try that service again. I’m always frustrated with the horrible interface of Apple Music. Try finding Elton John’s Rocket hour’s latest episode. It takes me several minutes to track it down. How un-Apple is that? I wish Iovine would leave Apple, maybe someone not warped by the anti-consumer music industry would figure out a few things there.

    • GFYantiapplezealots

      Apple Music has the best interface IMO, and I’ve tried them all.

      • Okay, how do I find Elton John’s Rocket hour’s latest episode (and not some lame playlist) without at least 50 clicks of the mouse or touchs on the screen?

    • Economides

      Open Apple Music. Search ‘rocket hour’. Done

      • It didn’t work like that last time I tried. Now it does.

    • The complaint of having to change audio output on the AppleTV was really weird. Hold down the button, pick the audio source. It’s not like it’s a trip to settings or anything. It’s hard to imagine it could be easier and still be functional independently.

      Edit: Finding the latest Rocket Hour took me as long as it takes to type in “Rocket Hour.”

      • You’re right, it’s fast and easy now. Not sure, maybe they had a glitch in the search before.

        • Glitches in Apple’s searches? That’s unpossible!

  • GFYantiapplezealots

    Awesome! Can’t wait to get mine!

  • Mo

    Winners: Stern’s terse humor and Patel’s loft apartment.

    • I know her mix-and-match of questions and Siri responses was supposed to be funny, but it just irritated me. It’s like, I dunno, faking a battery failure in a car review. Except it’s supposed to be funny, haha.

    • Stern’s review is funny until she blames Apple for something like lowering HomePod’s maximum volume output at some point down the road.

      /grudge.

  • Boring!

  • GS

    What is Apple selling, Jack of all trades, master of none, or its ecosystem? Who is the customer? Same as it ever was, and the reviewers and the naysayers could just cut and paste from all other reviews of previous Apple offerings. When Apple has to open up to be successful, it does. Half heartedly. As for personal assistants, I do use Siri; for navigation, or the very occasional request. Like with Apple Notes app, I use it a lot for what I use it for. Most of the time, I use a paper notepad. As often is the case, reviewers fail to mention that Apple’s goal is not the highest market share. I don’t have every Apple product, but I do have the ones that work well for me, the options are all there. This looks like one I will get.

    • Tech pundits believe that for Apple to win, everyone else must lose.

      Apple’s own behaviour shows otherwise. Until the relationship broke down, whether over the theft of ideas or keeping tabs on users, Apple was perfectly willing to cooperate with Google. They’re still cooperating with Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, XM, Amazon…

    • nailed it. apple never/rarely shoots for all encompassing market share. they narrowcast and build what they believe is the best experience. techie pundits be damned.

  • Bill Krueger

    Mr. Patel summarized the HomePod restrictions pretty well. I’m guessing Apple is paying attention to these. He seems pretty hung up on the lack of Siri based Spotify support, odd because he states he’s an Apple Music subscriber. But it actually makes a lot of sense to favor the Apple ecosystem with a device that’s going to have limited quantities at the start. As someone who’s deep in that ecosystem I’m glad the supply won’t be limited because of Spotify users 🙂

    As for others gaining access to his personal account information, this almost sounds like he’s suggesting that someone will come in off the street and send texts in his name. Weird.

  • I don’t get the emphasis on Spotify. I give precisely zero fucks about Spotify, and I’m sure I’m in the vast majority of people who aren’t tech media.

    Likewise, Siri. Anyone who can set one of these up by definition has a phone, and it’s probably in their pocket. Why would I possibly care? It looks like SIri can do more on the HomePod than I would ever ask of it.

    It can play my music. It sounds great. Awesome. That’s literally exactly what I’ve wanted for the last five years. Plus it can play Apple Music.

    • rick gregory

      “I’m sure I’m in the vast majority of people who aren’t tech media.”

      Actually, you don’t know that. Might be true, might be false. Regardless, there are a lot of Spotify users and it’s a hole in the offering. Right now, that is.

      I assume that HomePod will do what every software driven product does – evolve. Right now I have no use for or interest in one. Next year or the year after, who knows?

      • No, most users not giving two shits about Spotify is definitely true. Look at Spotify’s worldwide numbers. Even if they were all in one country, they’d be the minority.

        It’s worth mentioning, but tech pundits riding it like it’s the most important thing is simply funny and out of touch.

        • rick gregory

          Sigh… You’re doing that thing where people project their opinion as fact. Don’t – it’s arrogant and almost always wrong. Spotify has more users than Apple Music right now so your statement can also be reworded as “most users not giving two shits about Apple Music is definitely true…”. Most users don’t give a shit about ANY streaming music service atm.

          However, right now, Spotify has more subs that Apple Music. Even if it was fewer, it’s still noticeable and HomePod would be useful to more people if it allowed Spotify also. I get why Apple did what they did, but that’s not really in dispute.

          As for calling these reviews out as tech echo chamber? Well… who reads The Verge etc? Not most regular people. they “couldn’t give two shits” about sites like that. 🙂

          • Now you’re putting words into my mouth, either because you imagined I said them or because you thought I meant to. That’s uncool, man. So let me be clear: Most users do not give two shits about Apple Music, either.

            It’s almost irrelevant. I think it’s probably slightly more relevant since the potential Apple Music base is likely much smaller and the penetration is already higher, but so what? Still mostly irrelevant.

            Edit: And saying most users don’t give two shits about The Verge is even easier. Hell, even amongst tech people it’s pretty reviled. 🙂

          • rick gregory

            OK, you and I agree. Damn, that’s boring 🙂

            But the thing about HomePod is that it’s only of interest to people who are using streaming so the people who don’t are about any steaming service aren’t, IMO, relevant to the discussion. It’s like evaluating trucks and caring about people who never drive.

            Within the population who might use the HomePod, lack of Spotify (and Pandora etc) support is a thing to know about and I think the HP will be stronger if it allows it eventually. But then any V1 product has features that it would benefit from adding. Gotta ship though or the feature set is irrelevant.

          • wrong. the HP is not only of use or interest (source?) to people streaming. as an AirPlay wifi speaker it’s an endpoint for ANY AUDIO i care to dish at it.

            i currently use iHome wireless airplay speakers. they were 300 bucks, have no smart features, and sound like crap. the HP will be replacing them.

            you streamer boys need to drop your obsession with voice control for spotify. do. not. care.

          • android has more users than iphone yet people buying a Watch don’t care about it either.

            i give no shits for spotify. but if i did, i’d just beam it over airplay as normal and stop whining.

          • rick gregory

            No, you’d likely buy something that supported Spotify directly or you’d wait to see if the HP does. I’m really damn tired of pointing out to people that how THEY think isn’t necessarily how others think. If you want someone to stop whining and get off their high horse, look in the mirror. You’re the worst kind of Apple defender because you can’t accept that Apple’s not perfect and lash out irrationally whenever any limitation is pointed out.

            Oh and Airplay is, effectively streaming and in any event the future isn’t a bunch of middle aged people who had CDs, ripped them and play them over the air. It’s streaming.

    • 70 million people use Spotify. Most of them not in the tech press. The interesting part is the recent articles about how Apple music is catching up pretty fast and will outnumber Spotify pretty soon. So, compared to 7 billion people? Not much. Compared to all other music streaming services? Spotify is the biggest. But they are cutting their own throats with recent cutting off many devices that included free Spotify as a feature. Now that feature no longer works and the user has to pay up to continue using it. That is going to do more damage to them than anything Apple could do. Apple knows a lot, but their current software stinks and will hold them back from growing even faster. But they don’t have to be great, just better, and they are.

  • I didn’t watch either. Both Patel and Stern turned me off long ago with their approach to Apple criticism (not that they criticize the products).

    • yep, it’s their approach. they’re pro trolls interested in hyperbole in it for the clicks.

      pathetic that dave even linked to to them here.

      • Some of the hyperbole seems to have unintended consequences.

        I’m thinking of their broad platform, the impact their claims might have on sentiment and certain class action lawsuits seem to follow.

        …that probably gives them too much credit.

  • errata-corrige

    If google assistant is so good, why who have it like galaxy offer an alternative like bixi? And Samsung studied another personal assistant after people used google assistant on galaxy smartphones. Idem do it huawei, they announced an alternative to offer at their clients. Who offer Siri, just Apple, sell much with Apple Watch and people love that smartwatch (with over 97% of satisfaction of clients). So don’t be cheated with fake reviews. Media sometime reported fake things, like the anonymous indiscretion sold like a notice , about iPhone X unsell . Now we know officially that is the best seller.

  • two mega trolls, dave. nope.