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Looking forward to the HomePod
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Volker Weber    

Sketch

Have to detox my brain and started thinking about the HomePod. This speaker is announced, but it is still far away. Apple says December, but that was also the plan for the AirPods last year, so I am not holding my breath until it ships. Why the delay and the early announcement? I think Apple announced it to keep Apple fans at bay against the onslaught from Amazon and Google. And the delay? I believe it's the software. Siri needs to learn a lot for this to work well.

Everything about this speaker is interesting. But the most important part is that it adjusts to the room, and it does so without any setup. We have long learned that speaker placement is important for good sound. With Trueplay Tuning we had a tool to adjust the speaker to a room with just an iDevice. But it's a manual process and it does not take any later changes into consideration. HomePod adjusts itself as needed. If there are more people in a "hard" room, they would soften up the acoustics with more damping. Whether the room acoustics change or you move the speaker around, it can adjust. Actually, if you add a second one, HomePod discovers it and coordinates itself with it.

What I cannot imagine without hearing one is the sound. From what other people have told me, it sounds way larger than it is. That is of course a good thing. And with it's tweeter array it can direct sound to where it needs to go. When Apple announced it they demoed it against an Amazon Echo, which is popular for its Alexa integration despite its bad sound and against a Play:3 which is the oldest speaker in the line-up. No wonder, it blew them both away.

And then there is the microphone array and the A8 chip. You need this array of six microphones for farfield voice recognition. And you need the oomph of the CPU to discover the "Hey Siri" wake words to start listening. That part is not handled by the backend but needs to happen in the speaker itself. HomePod can do it, so can Echo and Echo Dot, but Play:5 can't.

Once I get my hand on a HomePod we will find out how well Siri works, how AirPlay 2 has evolved, and if it is smart enough to support 3rd party services like Spotify. I am very much looking forward to that.



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https://vowe.net/archives/016466.html
Jul 11, 2017
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Recent Blog Posts
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Thu, Sep 21st 2017 5:38a   Volker Weber
Ich habe sehr viele widersprüchliche Reviews zur Apple Watch 3 gelesen. Dabei blieb mir genug Zeit, diese Informationen zu ordnen und ich will gerne weitergeben, was ich gelernt habe. Es gibt wie zuvor drei Gehäuse-Ausführungen: Alu, Stahl und Keramik. Die Alu-Watch gibt es mit und ohne LTE, die anderen beiden Modelle haben stets LTE. Wenn man die eingebaute eSIM nicht aktiviert, verhält sich eine LTE-Watch wie eine ohne diese Option.Es gibt von jeder LTE-f
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Wed, Sep 20th 2017 1:10p   Volker Weber
Eine bessere Auswertung der Herzfrequenzmessung oder ein schnellerer Zugriff auf die Musiksteuerung, hier Spotify mit Sonos, watchOS 4 ist an vielen Stellen verbessert, ohne dass auch die ersten Apple Watch ausgebremst werden. So entwickelt man ein Produkt sauber weiter. Apple beweist bei der Watch eine ruhige Hand.
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Wed, Sep 20th 2017 9:08a   Volker Weber
iOS 11 uses new container formats for photos and videos. For the time being I prefer the old more ubiquitous formats, although they are larger. Set in Settngs/Camera/Formats.
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Mon, Sep 18th 2017 12:48p   Volker Weber
Bixby is Samsung's Clippy. An annoying assistant nobody really wants, besides Samsung of course. If you bought a recent Galaxy S8 or Note 8, it comes with an extra button that summons Bixby. It was the single most annoying feature when I tested the Galaxy S8. You can finally disable the single press on this button. Holding the button will still open Bixby Voice. Imagine you could use this button for something useful.
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Mon, Sep 18th 2017 7:18a   Volker Weber
Ich habe etwas neues auf Heise Online begonnen. Montags erscheint jetzt regelmäßig ein Ausblick auf die Woche. Das muss sich erst noch ein bisschen einüben. Gerne nehme ich Tipps für zukünftige Folgen entgegen. Das sind die beiden ersten: init - der Wochenausblick: Deutschland wählt und der IT-Herbst beginnt heise online, 18.09.2017 init - der Wochenausblick: Zwischen iPhones und Elektroautos heise online, 11.09.2017
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Fri, Sep 15th 2017 8:52p   Volker Weber
I added the icons in the last row, amongst them the TV remote.




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