Apple was long expected to release a standalone Siri device to compete with devices such as the Amazon Echo devices and Google Home. At WWDC, the wait was over, and Apple unveiled the HomePod. While it has more of a focus on music and sound quality, Siri is baked into the device, allowing you to search for music, set timers, and more. While it isn’t set to launch until December, how does it stack up against the Amazon Alexa powered Echo products? Here are three ways the Amazon Echo beats the HomePod.
The Amazon Echo lineup features something called skills. Skills can allow you to do a wide variety of things, from play games, order pizza, control smart home gadgets, and more. At the moment, there are over 15,000 different skills you can enable. This really opens up the possibilities of what you can do with the device.
While the HomePod does have Siri, it is nowhere as expandable as Amazon Alexa. You can’t download new skills or uses to the HomePod, you can only do what Apple allows you to do. You can however expand it even a little bit like you can on iOS, to do things like request and Uber for example.
With the HomePod, you’re trapped in the Apple ecosystem. If you already use Apple services, it shouldn’t be much of an issue, but if you don’t, the HomePod has a hard time competing with Amazon Echo lineup. For example, the HomePod only plays music from Apple Music. Have fun trying to ask Siri to play something from Spotify. It also is restricted to HomeKit for home automation. If you use a different platform or a combination of different ones, the HomePod isn’t going to be able to control all of your smart home products. Not only can you easily control Spotify with Amazon Alexa, but you can control a lot more home automation platforms too.
This is a big factor. The HomePod will retail for $349 once it launches. The Amazon Echo Dot, which is a smaller device capable of offering same features as large Alexa products sells for just a mere $49. The most expensive Amazon Echo product, the Amazon Echo Show, which includes a screen, is $229. Granted, the HomePod has much better sound quality compared to these products, but Amazon Alexa products can be outputted via Bluetooth or an auxiliary cord to any type of speakers that you wish.
Because it’s made by Apple, has great sound quality, and a nice simple design, I’m sure the HomePod is going to sell well. Personally, I see the HomePod as a quality speaker, with Siri being embedded as a nice little bonus. Siri is not the main focus of the HomePod. Music is. Amazon Echo product lineup, on the other hand, has its voice control as the main focus.
If you’re looking for a great all-in-one speaker to play well with your Apple products, the HomePod will probably be a good buy for you. But if you’re looking for a way to have AI fill your house and lots of customization options, the Amazon Echo just might be the better buy.
All of this is based on what Apple announced on stage during the HomePod announcement at WWDC 2017. It would be interesting to see if there are any changes introduced in HomePod when it is released later this year or with subsequent updates to Siri.
What are your thoughts on the Apple HomePod? Have you been eyeing the Amazon Echo? Which one are you planning on buying? Let us know in the comments section down below!