The way you control Apple’s smart speaker, the HomePod, is pretty cool. You just talk to it. But Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, can’t make the speaker do much beyond the basics and can only summon music from Apple-owned cloud services. That sets it behind the other products in the voice-activated speaker race—most notably those from Amazon or Google—which are capable, flexible, and largely platform-neutral when it comes to streaming. It’s too bad Siri can’t play internet radio or the deep cuts from your local MP3 library, because the speaker itself sounds absolutely amazing. Mike and Arielle discuss the good and bad points about the HomePod, and tell you whether or not it’s worth your Satoshis.
Some notes: Mike’s HomePod review. Our original HomePod story from the 2017 launch. Mike also reviewed the Google Home Max and the Sonos One smart speakers. Recommendations this week: WeCroak and KCRW’s Good Food. Send the hosts feedback on their personal Twitter feeds. Arielle Pardes is @pardesoteric, and Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. Our theme song is by Solar Keys.
How to Listen
You can always listen to this week’s podcast through the audio player on this page, but if you want to subscribe for free to get every episode, here’s how:
If you’re on an iPhone or iPad, open the app called Podcasts, or just tap this link. You can also download an app like Overcast or Pocket Casts, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.
If you use Android, you can find us in the Google Play Music app just by tapping here. You can also download an app like Pocket Casts or Radio Public, and search for Gadget Lab. And in case you really need it, here’s the RSS feed.