macOS on ARM and WWDC, HomePod Hopes with Jeff Gamet - ACM 532

· Bryan Chaffin · Apple Context Machine Podcast

Apple Context Machine Logo

Bryan Chaffin is joined by Jeff Gamet to discuss macOS and Mac hardware on ARM processors, along with their ideas about how much we might see at WWDC. They also discuss their hopes for HomePod and how it might improve.

A Brilliant Discussion of iPadOS Design Problems

· John Martellaro · Particle Debris

iPad Pro with USB-C Port

There are some major weaknesses in the human interface to iPadOS. In a very readable essay, Daring Fireball’s John Gruber explains in awesome detail.

Should You Warn Your Guests About Smart Devices?

· Andrew Orr · Link

David Murphy asks if people are morally obligated to inform their guests that their home contains smart devices like HomePod, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. Given the fact that these devices can listen to you, should you post a sign in your house that says, “Warning: This Area Under Surveillance?”

If you’re simply sporting a smart speaker, I think announcing its presence is less of a deal—overkill, really. But if a camera is recording me at any point, and that’s something you can view later, I think it’s the friendly thing to do to let me know before I start gossiping…or worse.

What do you mean by worse??

Should Apple Buy Sonos?

· Andrew Orr · Link

Sonos logo

Writing for TechCrunch, Darrell Etherington argues that Apple should acquire Sonos, a company known for its speakers.

From an outsider perspective, it’s hard to find two companies who seem more philosophically aligned than Sonos and Apple when it comes to product design and business model. Both are clearly focused on delivering premium hardware (at a price point that’s generally at the higher end of the mass market) and both use services to augment and complement the appeal of their hardware…

I’m not much of an Apple pundit but I’m not seeing the need for Apple to buy Sonos. I think it would’ve made more sense for this acquisition in the past, but Apple already has the HomePod. Aside from the price and platform-specific complaints, I don’t think I’ve heard anything bad about the sound quality.

This Fall, HomePod Will Have Ambient Sounds, Multi-User Mode

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple didn’t mention the HomePod on stage yesterday, but Benjamin Mayo reports that a product refresh will appear later this fall.

A new forthcoming feature is called Ambient Sounds. This will allow users to easily play white noise sounds on their HomePods, including ocean waves, birdsong, rainstorms, and more. Right now, users are forced to AirPlay from another iOS device to easily play relaxing background audio on HomePod. Ambient Sounds will make this a first-party feature, fully integrated with Siri.

If Apple ever comes out with a cheaper HomePod, I’d probably buy one just for the ambient sounds.

Japanese HomePod Launching This Summer

· Andrew Orr · Product News

A Japanese HomePod will launch this summer for ¥32,800 (US$302.48). We don’t have a launch date but the order page is live.

HomePod 2, HomePod mini — Rumors, Prices

· John Martellaro · Link

David Price at Macworld UK writes:

We round up all the clues and rumours related to the HomePod 2: its release date, price & tech specs. Find out if Apple could be launching a cheaper HomePod mini.

Author Price notes:

… Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis believes Apple will launch a “cheaper HomePod in 2019,” and that it will have “broader appeal.” He thinks that HomePod sales have been  “underwhelming” with less than 5 million sold so far.

Give me a HomePod mini for $159 – $179 to play with, and I’m in. Along with many others.

Apple Cuts HomePod Price by $50, Now $299

· Andrew Orr · Link

Apple is cutting the price of the HomePod a bit. It used to be US$349 but now it costs US$299.

Apple today cut the price of HomePod on its online store by $50, with the smart speaker now listed for $299, down from $349. The price drop follows recent promotional discounts at several third-party retailers across the U.S.

A Great Explanation of Apple's HomePod Semi-failure

· John Martellaro · Analysis

Apple HomePod

It’s not hard to figure out that Apple’s HomePod hasn’t been as successful as the Amazon Echo. But figuring out the exact cause is harder. It’s not the price.

Apple HomePod: $296.10

· Bryan Chaffin · TMO Deals

Apple HomePod smart speaker

We have a deal on an Apple HomePod. This is Apple’s Siri-based speaker with a built-in subwoofer, 7 tweeters, and microphones to hear your commands for Siri. It retails for $349, and our deal is for $329. But, our friends at Stack Commerce gave us coupon code “HOMEPOD10” that will save 10%, for a checkout price of $296.10. Our link points to the Space Gray mode, but you can also choose the White version in the deal listing. Get it while you can.