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Apple

Since Apple’s HomePod turned accessible for preorder final week, there was confusion in regards to the music it may well play. Apple lately added an “audio sources” part to HomePod’s tech spec webpage that lays out precisely the place you may play music from utilizing the good speaker. These are the supported sources:

Apple Music (subscription required)
iTunes Music purchases
iCloud Music Library with an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription
Beats 1 Reside Radio
Podcasts
Content material through AirPlay to HomePod from iPhone, iPad, iPod contact, Apple TV, and Mac

It isn’t stunning that almost all of those sources draw music from Apple’s ecosystem. HomePod was all the time going to prioritize Apple-approved music earlier than all different varieties, however that may make it tougher for customers who do not dwell in Apple’s ecosystem to make use of HomePod frequently.

Siri voice instructions ought to work with all music sources besides content material accessed through AirPlay. It seems Siri has restricted integration on HomePod proper now, and by way of music, Apple will possible hold Siri controlling solely music that the corporate supplies. AirPlay seems to be one of the best ways for customers to stream music that is not managed by Apple, comparable to Spotify or Pandora, to a HomePod speaker (it is nonetheless unclear if HomePod can be utilized as a Bluetooth speaker). When the AirPlay 2 protocol launches later this 12 months, customers will have the ability to stream audio to a number of HomePods and different AirPlay 2 suitable audio system.

Questions on audio supply help have been swirling since HomePod was introduced, and there was current confusion surrounding iCloud Music Libraries with and with out iTunes Match subscriptions. In accordance with an iMore report, you may ask Siri to play any songs you have bought by means of iTunes irrespective of in case you have an iTunes Match subscription or not. Nonetheless, these with songs of their library bought elsewhere might want to have an iTunes Match subscription to play them on HomePod and entry them with Siri instructions.

Apple is sort of late to the good speaker occasion, and HomePod might have hassle breaking in on account of its Apple-only compatibility and its $349 price ticket. Not solely have Amazon and Google been making good audio system for whereas, however each firms have embraced the reasonably priced good speaker sector with their Echo Dot and Google House Mini gadgets (each of that are $49). Additionally, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are extra superior than Siri will likely be on HomePod at launch, however Apple is probably going hoping that SiriKit for HomePod will make the assistant higher outfitted to assist out within the residence over time.

HomePod will likely be broadly accessible within the US, UK, and Australia beginning February 9.

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