Apple has only recently launched its smart speaker, the Apple HomePod, in demo mode. Needless to say, the product has caused quite a stir among techies and music nerds. Any product from Apple creates an almost unbelievable frenzy, and the HomePod is being touted by Apple as the next big thing in the market of smart speakers. However, that does not go around the fact that there already are a few smart speakers in the market, some of them from reputed houses. The Google Home is one such. It has been quite long since the search engine giant first forayed into the world of technological products, and the Google Home is keeping up with their standards of excellence.
Here, let us find out how the Google Home measures up to the Apple HomePod.
The music library
The Apple HomePod can steam music that is on your music player. It can also stream music from Apple Music. But, that is about all you can get the device to play. So, if you do not like the music that Apple Music has in store, or the ones in your library are getting repetitive, you have to manually add more songs. Google’s Home, on the other hand, can play music from multiple other platforms apart from Google Music and your personal library, such as Spotify, Pandora, and Audible.
The compatibility issue
Like all other Apple devices, the HomePod is not compatible with devices with different operating systems. As a result, you will not be able to go online shopping or order food via Siri, something you will be able to do with Google’s virtual assistant. Google Assistant is compatible with home automation giants, such as Philips Hue, WeMo, Samsung SmartThings, and Nest. Which means that you will be able to control almost your entire home with the speaker. The best part is that you can customize the programming so that compatible devices that send you notifications, thanks to the fact that the Google Assistant supports If This Then That. On the other hand, Apple’s Siri offers you complete voice control of any compatible Apple device in the home, and by compatible we mean any device featuring the HomeKit.
Also read: Apple HomePod VS Amazon Echo
The sound system
If the demo is anything to go by, Apple’s Homepod is by far the best in sound quality and acoustics. The speakers are equipped with intelligent locators, which means they modulate the sound in accordance to the dimensions of the room they are in. As a result, irrespective of which part of the room you are in, you will be able to listen to the music just as clearly. Besides, the HomePod’s fine mesh netting provides a better acoustic advantage; you are clearly able to hear all the instruments being played. Google Home’s sound, on the other hand, is loud and clear, but not good enough to fill a room or drive a party.
Which brings us to the speakers themselves. The HomePod is the larger of the two, containg seven tweeters and a primary woofer. It is slightly bigger than the Google Home at 6.8 by 5.6 inches, and has the ability to send music to any part of the room. Its multi-room ability speaks to its advantage; you can pair the speaker with any device featuring AirPlay 2 or the Apple TV speakers. The Google Home is smaller in dimension, measuring 5.6 by 3.8 inches, and does not quite provide the listening experience that the HomePod does. It does not provide mutli-room support either, although it is compatible with the Google Chromecast, and you can create a bigger speaker by pairing it with the Chromecast or with multiple other Google Home speakers.
This one goes without saying. Apple so far has been known for letting its users listen to great quality music using pretty cheap headphones, and it doesn’t quite cut in with their philosophy when they expect people to shell out a lot of money for the same music. At $349 USD, the HomePod is priced as steep as it can get. Even with all its features, it is a rather high price for a speaker, especially when you can buy two Google Homes ($129 USD) at that price.
It remains to be seen whether Apple’s HomePod will drive Google’s Home out of business, or at least make a serious dent in its market. Apple lovers will cite the company’s case history, and nod in the affirmative. On the other hand, the price is daunting, and even many Apple aficionados feel that Apple still has a long way to go. But, if Apple’s philosophy is to be believed, it is not to do something first, but doing it best. December, when the HomePod will be officially launched for sale, will tell the verdict.