"The HomePod sounds noticeably richer and fuller than nearly every other speaker we've tested", the Verge wrote. Though the feature isn't yet available, Apple has apparently backed off of calling two-HomePod synchronization "stereo", and plans to separately release two-speaker and multi-room modes at unspecified future dates.
Currently, Siri does not communicate with Apple TV, which is a baffling omission considering all the recent work put into developing the latter, and the ease with which Google Home users can use Chromecast to watch something on the big screen.
With this being central to the speaker systems, each assistant is more than adequate, but each carries its own advantages and disadvantages.
There's also the thing with Apple's tendency to lock its products inside its own ecosystem. Alexa and Google can draw upon lots of information even before you add third-party skills; Siri on HomePod can get stumped by requests an iPhone can handle.
From a "smart speaker" perspective, HomePod's strongest suit is its six-microphone array, which can hear you say "Hey Siri" at a distance at a reasonable volume, even when the speakers are loudly playing music. But it must be said that the Amazon device delivers the best AI capabilities.
Since then, Apple has avoided comparing the HomePod to the Amazon Echo and Google Home - devices with better voice-activated smart assistants compared to Apple's Siri - and said it is instead competing with audio-focused speakers such as Sonos. Each of these devices is compatible with three major ecosystems, meaning that smart home support is pretty standard across the device range.
Meanwhile, the Google Home Max can be combined with Chromecast Audio or speakers with Chromecast to play music across multiple rooms.
Brian Chen from the New York Times spent his time with all three main smart speakers: HomePod, Alexa, and Home respectively, and his experience paints quite a picture.
Universal praise of the HomePod, which will be available Friday for $349, was about its sound quality, with reviewers saying it is by far the best-sounding speaker in the market.
There is no doubt that Google has a big advantage over the other two competitors thanks to its emphasis on searching, and this is indeed reflected in the performance of its system.
Both Amazon Echo and Google Home allow you to set Spotify or Pandora as their default music streaming service.
Despite the impressive music set-up, the HomePod does have some limitations.
Indeed, the Apple HomePod is an excellent standalone speaker system, and could be purchased for this reason alone.
I remember reading the estimates for HomePod sales back in July of 2017 and it was clear that Apple would have stiff competition from Amazon and Google.