If the HomePod hits shops, Apple shares tips to get the most out of it

Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing, announces the new Apple HomePod during the annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, USA 5 June 2017. (REUTERS/Stephen Lam)

Apple’s long-awaited smart speaker countries in the shops on Friday.

The HomePod is a new type of product for the tech giant, and to ensure owners get the most out of it, Apple has posted a bunch of tips in a handy guide.

According to DT recent review of the HomePod, is the installation, as you would expect with Apple kit is “dead simple,” with little more than keep your iPhone close to the speaker and after a few prompts on the display.

But if you are in a pickle from the start, Apple’s new user’s guide will set you straight.

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It is divided into several sections, including the battle, Apple, Music, Apple Podcasts, News, Control your house, Assistant, and Support and safety. Most of the sub-sections where you can find more information about the HomePod to the various functions and discover ways to get the most out of it.

News junkies, for example, can quickly receive updates from major sources around the world just by saying “Hey Siri, what is the news today.” If you want to switch to a different source, you can say, “Hey Siri, switch to the BBC in place of” or whatever outlet you prefer. Of course, you can also ask for certain types of content by asking Siri for the “sport news” or “business news,” and so on.

But of course, as the guide to the different sections suggest, the HomePod is a lot more than just respond to your requests.

Brilliant sound, but pricey

In the DT’s review, the $349 HomePod was warmly received, acclaimed for its beautiful design, brilliant sound, easy installation, and effortless control of HomeKit devices.”

Disadvantages, however, are the lack of multi-user support, and the inability to use Siri for third-party music streaming services. It is also one of the more expensive smart speakers on the market, and more expensive than similar products from major rivals, including Amazon’s new Echo ($99), and Google start page ($129), although Google Home Max is more expensive at $399.

If you are interested in smart speakers, but are yet to take the plunge, make sure to check out DT’s recent piece comparing the offerings of the three largest players in the space. As you would expect, we have found that each of the devices has strengths and weaknesses, but depending on your needs, some more than others.

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