Stephen Hackett’s HomePod intervention, and a reminder that these are early days still

Stephen Hackett, 512 Pixels:

I unplugged the Echo and put it away, leading to many questions about where Alexa went, voiced by our three year old son.

That was about three weeks ago, and in those three weeks, the entire family has gotten acquainted with HomePod and this iteration of Siri.


Obviously the HomePod blows away the Echo in terms of audio quality. I really like how the HomePod sounds, and as we already pay for Apple Music, we were good to go there.

That’s where things start to go south. In Stephen’s take, Alexa is either the same or superior to Siri in most every way. For someone used to Alexa, the switch to Siri comes across as an annoyance, especially if music quality is not a priority.

Stephen ends with:

In short, the increase in sound quality doesn’t make up for the frustration of using Siri. The HomePod is going to live in my studio; the Echo is back in its rightful place in the kitchen.

I’ve been living with HomePod for about a month and I have to agree with this take. I love my HomePod, but HomePod Siri is relatively primitive. Even when it comes to music.

I often find myself planning strategically how I will get Siri to recognize an unusual name, especially one with a lot of syllables. There have been times when I just could not get Siri to play a song even though I know the song is in the Apple Music catalog.

The lack of multiple or named timers is not a big deal to me, but I do see it as a symptom, a sign that these are early days still.

I assume that the next HomePod patch will bring new capabilities to HomePod Siri. I assume that the HomePod Siri team is paying strict attention to feedback, feverishly taking notes and planning strategy, working hard on an update that will show glimmers of a glorious new HomePod Siri future.

I sure hope that is the case.