Apple HomePod orders open this week: Shipping 9 February

Finally, the Siri-powered smart speaker is going to be available to buy

Apple HomePod orders open

Praise be, the Apple HomePod finally has a launch date - and we've not got long to wait. You can get your pre-orders in for Apple's Echo rival in this week - 26 January - and shipping will begin on 9 February.

The Apple HomePod has been much delayed. First announced waaaaaay back in June 2017 at WWDC, we were supposed to see it in Apple Stores before Christmas but the launch was postponed as the Cupertino tech giant said it needed "a little more time before it's ready for our customers."

The Ambient's verdict: Apple HomePod review

But huzzah, that time has now come. Well, almost - and only if you live in the US, the UK or Australia. The rest of the world will have to wait; France and Germany are next on the list with a spring date touted.

Make sure you read our comprehensive guide to the Apple HomePod for all the juicy details of what it can and can't do. Essentially, this is Apple's soldier in the smart speaker war with the likes of Amazon and Google – a Siri-powered speaker that's definitely got more of an emphasis on music playback than smart home control.

Guide: Streaming Spotify on Apple HomePod

Sure, Apple mentions in the latest press release that the HomePod will be able to control a wide range of HomeKit smart home accessories but there's clearly more focus on its audio skills... "Apple-engineered audio technology, acoustic modelling, audio beam-forming, a wide, spacious soundstage, an Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters"... you get the gist.

Read this: Apple HomeKit essential guide

One audio element not on board from the WWDC announcement is multi-room audio. Along the lines of a Sonos system, Apple is promising music syncing across multiple speakers, but that won't arrive until a software update lands later in the year.

The Apple HomePod costs $349 and will be available in white or space grey.

TAGGED   apple   speakers
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