Apple is pretty cool consistent in anemic features versus alternatives, but like the Windows says. Of course, when Apple nails the opinionated workflow, you appreciate it:
“Since Apple revealed HomePod, it’s been clear that the company is focusing more on sound quality and the music-listening experience with this smart speaker than Siri’s capabilities as a home assistant. That’s why Apple’s device is so much more expensive than most Amazon Echo devices and the Google Home and Home Mini speakers (although Google does have Home Max, its own high-end smart speaker). However, HomePod will not launch with an important music feature: multi-room audio and stereo. Apple states that this will come to HomePod later this year through a free software update, allowing two or more HomePods to play the same audio throughout an entire home or specific room.”
Original source: Apple’s Siri-equipped HomePod comes to your home on February 9
“30% of web browsing will be done via voice by 2020, according to the technology research firm Gartner. Presumably, a large chunk of those search commands could be monetized.”
Original source: The latest media pivot: voice
“In the first nine months of 2017, 17.1m smart speakers shipped worldwide, according to Canalys’s data, but a further 16.1m were shipped in the last quarter of the year driven by Christmas present sales…. The trend towards smart speakers becoming mainstream is expected to continue. Canalys is forecasting 70% year-on-year growth with shipments reaching over 56m units this year.”
Link to original
According to a recent research report from eMarketer, 60.5 million Americans will talk at least once a month to their virtual personal assistants named Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and other as-yet unknowns this year. “That equates to 27.5% of smartphone users, or nearly one-fifth of the population,” eMarketer said. Link
More details on the study:
- “The e-commerce giant’s Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices will claim a 70.6 percent share of the U.S. market this year, the study found.”
- That 60.5m figure is more like “penetration,” people who have tried voice stuff but aren’t active users. By device ownership (I don’t know if this includes or excludes phones with Siri and such): “The number of active U.S. users will more than double for the devices this year, to 35.6 million, eMarketer said.”
See more details over from TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez.
Personally, I still find all this obnoxious. But (a.) I’m more of a podcast and text person, and, (b.) hey, the Echo is a really nice Bluetooth/Spotify speaker.