Apple Homepod vs Amazon Echo vs Google Home

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apple homepod vs amazon echo vs google home

So Apple has come out with a new tech called the HomePod at the recent WWDC 2017 keynote. What is the Apple HomePod? And how does it stack up to similar products such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home?

What is the Apple HomePod?

The Apple HomePod is in its rawest sense a smart speaker. It is designed primarily to work along with Apple Music. The Apple HomePod also incorporates Siri, the digital voice-activated assistant for Apple. The long and short of it then is that Apple HomePod is just that—it is a smart speaker with an assistant.

The focus of Apple HomePod is Apple Music, so to that end it is largely for entertainment. However, it is not without competition, there is also Amazon Echo and Google Home which we have written about here.

How does it line up?

The Apple HomePod has seven tweeter speakers and one woofer placed inside a rather round and squarish casing. The size of the unit is 172 x 142 mm at a weight of 5.5 lbs.

Already in the weight department, the Apple HomePod is at a disadvantage when compared to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

apple homepod wwdc keynote

The Amazon Echo weighs 2.34 lbs. while the Google Home is at 1.05 lbs. Granted, the other two are much smaller in size than the HomePod and naturally would weigh less.

Perhaps one advantage of the Apple HomePod is the speakers themselves. With seven tweeters and one woofer it should offer much better sound quality than the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

However, the other two have smart home and third party support. Meanwhile, Apple’s HomePod only has HomeKit announced up to now.

The music market

Another disadvantage it has is that music support only comes from Apple Music. The other two have a much broader music support.

For the Amazon Echo there’s Amazon Music, Spotify Premium, Pandora and TuneIn, among others. Google Home has Pandora, YouTube Music, Google Play Music, Pandora and a few others.

Apple HomePod costs much more as well. It will retail at $349, which is twice the price of the other two with Amazon Echo coming in at $180 and Google Home at $129.

For connectivity, both Amazon and Google have their units connect through wi-fi and  BlueTooth while the Apple HomePod so far only connects by wi-fi only.

So is Apple HomePod a game changer?

What’s the verdict then? So far it is hard to tell. With its seven tweeters and one woofer, the Apple HomePod should theoretically sound better and so justify its price tag.

However, it still lacks some features that Amazon and Google’s products already have. The Apple HomePod won’t be commercially available until December, so there could be changes to it by then.

The downside however is Google and Amazon could also make much further advances in this time with products already on the market.  Could it be too little, too expensive, too late for Apple?

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For almost 10 years Dave has been involved with eCommerce with a particular interest in the marketplaces and the huge opportunities available for sellers when utilizing a multi-channel strategy. After a year of being the UK’s youngest eCommerce consultant it was the opportunity to start UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne showing the world how to utilize Magento as the Third Generation of Multi-Channel software. Dave also recently started a YouTube channel called the Manc Entrepreneur (click YouTube icon link below to watch Dave's videos) where he discusses all things eCommerce and entrepreneurship aimed to help young entrepreneurs get started on their own journey. When Dave isn’t working his main interests include, Technology, Cars and throwing himself off high things into water.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Apple’s competition is really the Google Home and not the Echo, IMO.

    Purchased the Echo when it first launched over 2 years ago. We now have several Google Homes (GH).

    The two are often compared but they really are very different.

    The Echo is a computer device that has a voice recognition interface. So it has commands that you memorize and then issue with your voice.

    So for music it has a command of “song goes like”. So switch account you have a command to switch. To secure things there is a passcode that you use. All typical computer things.

    The Google Home (GH) is the most human like technology I have used. It also has the voice recognition but then it has another step where it tries to actually understand what you want. So in some cases better than a human and then in others not as good as a human.

    So the GH does NOT have commands but you talk to it like you would to a human. Working in my daughters room on a DIY project and she is talking about Sheeran performance at the Grammys. When she just says “hey google play sheeran grammy” and it Ed Sheeran playing at the 2017 Grammys starts playing. But no command to memorize and when daughter received and plugged in was able to use instantly without any book or a single thing to memorize.

    The GH, like a human, just knows one voice from another. So the GH in the kitchen and I ask for a song it uses my YouTube Red account but if my kid does it they get their Spotify account. Nothing manual to do and just like a human just knows one voice from another. This is an example better than humans. I have two kids whose voices mix me up if I do not see them and the GH knows the difference without any problem.

    We do NOT allow younger kids to turn down the AC. So when they ask it just does NOT happen as the GH knows it is not me or my wife. But if I ask it just happens.

    The Google Home also seamlessly integrates with our iPhones. We have one click integration such my wife clicks a single button on her iPhone, the shutter, and then later walks into our family room and will say “hey google show me photos of Adam on GoCarts” The TV turns on, input sets, and a photo of me wiping out our son on the Go Carts appears. But also appears in 4k! I can not get this from Apple and definitely this is not happening with an Echo.

    But it is not only low friction on using but setting this involved purchase, plug in, log in. Nothing else. Google just ties it all together using your Google account. We just purchased a Google Home and a Chromecast and installed Google Photos on all our iPhones.

    The biggest difference is the Echo was always my toy versus the GHs are used all the time. I love watching technology introduced into my family and see what becomes part of their daily routine and which does not.

    I can not think of anything since the Tivo that become as integrated as fast as the GH. It just never happened with the kitchen Echo for some reason. Now it could be the Echo was the warm up to get people to actually use the GHs. But I suspect the lower friction in using the GH is what made all the difference. My family is just NOT motivated to memorize commands like I was.

    • Hey Jack,

      Thanks for that amazing comment. This is exactly what I was suspecting, I have owned neither the Echo or the Home but played with the Echo and like you said I saw it as a bit of a gimmick / toy.

      But the Google Home does interest me on a much higher level. I have the Google Pixel and am so impressed with the Google Assistant I can see exactly how that would be beneficial in every day life.

      Also as Google starts integrating with more and more smart tech I think it could be a genuine necessity in home automation. The Apple HomePod I see as a luxury music device just like Sonos or Bose, but with Siri. Apple will never have the partnerships and integrations that Google will have.

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