The Biggest Reason Most People Shouldn’t Buy the Apple HomePod

You’ll soon be able to buy the Apple HomePod for $349, and you will not be able to use it with the best music streaming services available. Yes, there is no HomePod Spotify support. You’ll need to buy into the Apple Music ecosystem if you want to get the real benefit of Apple’s smart speaker that is meant to take on Sonos and the Amazon Echo.

It’s not a shock, considering how much Apple is forcing you into their ecosystem with Siri not allowing users to control Spotify, but it is a slap in the face to users who want to listen to music on their own terms instead of being shackled to the less useful and often frustrating Apple Music service.

You can't use Spotify on the Apple HomePod with voice commands.
You can’t use Spotify on the Apple HomePod with voice commands.

The lack of Apple HomePod Spotify support is just the start of this walled garden approach. Since Siri is your only way to use the HomePod, you will need to live and breathe Apple to get the full use out of a very expensive smart speaker. You’ll need to use Apple’s calendar, Apple maps and live with other restrictions to what Siri can and cannot access on your iPhone and in your digital life.

The one saving grace is that you will be able to grab your iPhone, unlock it, go to Spotify, choose to use AirPlay — but at that point you’re missing out on any of the smart HomePod features and you may as well be using a Bluetooth speaker or some other cheaper option.

Compare this to the Amazon Echo devices that are much more affordable and support multi-room audio as well as the option to use a wide range of music including Spotify, but once again we run into an issue where you need to choose your music streaming service around the hardware you want to use.

There’s no official support for Apple Music on the Echo. You can use a workaround, by pairing your iPhone to the Echo and using it as a bluetooth speaker, but that’s as inelegant as using AirPlay to play Spotify on the HomePod.¬†Amazon devices chief Dave Limp told Bloomberg that Amazon is open to adding Apple Music support saying, “We’d love to have Apple, but they’re not super big.”

At the end of the day, don’t expect Apple to add HomePod Spotify support anytime soon, with SiriKit banning the use for any third party music services. We also don’t expect to see Apple Music on the Echo anytime soon now that Apple has their own smart speaker.

iOS 11 vs iOS 10: What’s New in iOS 11.3

New Animoji for iPhone X

New Animoji for iPhone X

The iOS 11.3 update will add new Animoji options for the iPhone X. This uses the front facing camera to allow users to make clips and stickers of animated emoji. Originally this launched with 12 options, but Apple is adding four new Animoji in iOS 11.3.

When the update arrives, iPhone X users will be able to use the following Animoji;

  • Lion
  • Bear
  • Dragon
  • Skull

Each of these allow users to control the facial expressions of the Animoji using the TrueDepth camera. This feature is only available on the iPhone X, but you can send the Animoji to any other user as a sticker, picture or video clip. 

One Comment

  1. […] The new Amazon Echo delivers better sound thanks to Dolby Audio, it’s smaller, it looks better and it’s only $99. Amazon thinks this will compete with the Sonos Play:1 and be a better solution for many users than the Apple HomePod, which can’t play Spotify by voice commands. […]

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