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The personal site of Jamie Knight, an autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

HomePod: it’s got complicated.

I really want to like the HomePod. I appreciate the care and attention which goes into this sort of product.

However, oh man, it’s hard to like the HomePod sometimes. I’m only a week in and it’s a very mixed picture.

The issues.

Let’s start on a low and end on a high. The main issue with the HomePod isn’t the hardware. It’s the software..

To win me over it needed to do three things. Act as a speaker for my Mac, sound good at usable volumes and be reliable.

So far is failing at all three.

Speaker for my Mac – this is a partial success. The HomePod doesn’t have a 3.5mm jack so it only really works for apps which support AirPlay. After trying with every setting I could find I could not get system sounds (alerts etc) to come out via the HomePod.

Sound good at usable volumes – I live in w flat in a shared block and I have sensitive hearing. Both of those factors limit how much noise I can make. The HomePod’s 360 sound trick doesn’t work at low volumes. For most of the my test music I couldn’t hear the lyrics over the bass and there’s no way for me to tweak it.

Reliability – it’s not worked properly with anything. My iPhone can’t connect to it half the time and even when it does who know what will play where. Connections hang and weirdness happens. At one stage it was playing a track from Apple Music and my local library at the same time. What a mess ;(

So… basically it’s not fit for purpose with what I originally wanted it for. However….

The good.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Modern life is goodish! When the HomePod is on song, it is incredible.

In a larger room and with the volume up it sounds extremely good. So much so I have started setting aside time to simply listen to music as an activity in and of itself.

I can’t do it much (the neighbours have kids) but when I can it may even become one if my favourite things to do.

So a few days in the picture is really mixed. It’s not going to work for what I wanted. But perhaps it may still have a role to play as something new.

I’m giving myself a few more days to decide on if I try and turn it or not.

Published: 26 August 2018 Permalink

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