Join John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton for the geeks’ dissection of Apple’s iPhone 12 and HomePod mini announcements. Digging into some of the deeper elements, your two favorite geeks cover some of the 5G nuances, OLED on all screens 12, LIDAR, speaker pairing, and more. Press play and enjoy, then send your feedback into [email protected]

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Mac Geek Gab 838 Episode Image with Dave Hamilton and John F. Braun

MGG 838: Geeky Thoughts About Apple's "Hi, Speed" iPhone 12 and HomePod mini Announcements

6:38 PM Oct. 13th, 2020 | 01:05:03

Join John F. Braun and Dave Hamilton for the geeks’ dissection of Apple’s iPhone 12 and HomePod mini announcements. Digging into some of the deeper elements, your two favorite geeks cover some of the 5G nuances, OLED on all screens 12, LIDAR, speaker pairing, and...

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3 Comments Add a comment

  1. wab95

    Thanks, Dave.

    I hear you, and your points, as usual, are insightful. I think you hit the nail on the head when you say that one’s debut experience with a smart speaker will not only wow you, but leave you less susceptible to conversion to another device or platform. My aim was rather to point out some of the features that were showcased on the Mini that already exist on the original HomePod.

    I concur that the current price point of the Mini will increase adoption and uptake into Apple’s smart speaker ecosystem. Apple are master marketers. If they believe that theirs is a sufficiently differentiated product that it need not compete with other devices in smart home management, they might remain content with a primarily entertainment device. My hope is rather that they will leverage such increased adoption across their platform of neural engine-powered devices to create a best in class, versatile and mobile (think iPhone and Apple Watch – perhaps Apple Glasses with Handoff) smart home system. I can visualise the configuration on the chess board. It’s a question of this being Apple’s game plan and its execution.

    One of the things I have always appreciated, and continue to appreciate, about the MGG is that you guys, although admittedly Apple geeks, are device agnostic and, in American parlance, simply call ‘balls and strikes’, irrespective of whom you strike out, including Apple. That continues to not only establish your credibility as honest brokers, but sets a benchmark for other podcasts.

    Cheers.

  2. wab95

    Guys:

    Great show. Appreciate the immediate review of the event.

    Just one response. I think you might be underestimating the HomePod. The original will smartly to offer to pair as a stereo set when you turn it on in the same room with another (been there, done that). I doubt that the Mini will not allow you to choose, as well as to recognise an already paired set (they show up in Home as either paired or unpaired.

    The sound, at least to my ears, is great, not at all muddy, and seamlessly moves from classical (my principal genre) to rock to jazz. In fact, I played a Billie Holiday album that I’ve heard countless times before, but never like this. Mesmerising. The stereo speakers overwhelm our bedroom, which is not small. Even at low volume, the sound is impressive. The speakers locate themselves in the room and compensate for their location by directing the sound (I’ve played with their location just to test feature – it works) to provide maximum quality to the centre of the room. Siri on the original, now with the latest software updates, recognises everyone in the house who can interact with the speakers. Finally, it offers to operate smart devices on set up, which one can also do through the Home app.

    I’m ordering three of the new HomePod Minis to place strategically around the house, one for each of the rooms our family tend to congregate in, and my workout studio in the basement. Can’t wait to try out the intercom feature.

    • Dave Hamilton

      You make good points here, @wab95. You’re (obviously) not wrong: for some (many?) people, HomePod is a fine solution. It’s (currently) expensive (but what isn’t? :), and it sounds good. And it has Siri.

      I think anyone’s first experience with a higher-end smart speaker like HomePod or Sonos has that “wow!” factor, and is mesmerizing, for sure. Heck, look how long I’ve been mesmerized by Sonos.

      My issue is that I’ve experienced most of these. One favorite story to tell was when I had an in-person meeting scheduled with Bose to get a demo of SoundTouch at their offices, and the day before they called me to cancel citing the “oh, well, you’re a Sonos user” as their reason. It was as if they knew there was no sense trying to demo that to someone who “already knew better.”

      And while the experience and sound quality of HomePod is-and-always-has-been leaps and bounds better than SoundTouch ever was or is, the ecosystem still isn’t close to what Sonos has. No one’s is. Sonos has a decade-long head-start, and they still are moving at a pretty good pace. There’s a reason HomePod sales were lackluster (by Apple’s standards), and it’s because they had zero chance of converting Sonos folks.

      Again, HomePod and now especially with HOmePod mini works well for what it does, and for many folks that may well be enough, but not having a solution for the living room really cuts it short. How many people who want to invest in higher-quality sound are willing to do so knowing their chosen infrastructure isn’t really living-room-compatible?

      I think HomePod mini opens up Apple’s market significantly, because now it’s not (really) competing with Sonos… it’s just “another <$100 smart speaker that probably sounds better than most of the rest, oh and it's Siri-native, too." And that's a good thing.

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