Apple just announced a new product, the HomePod, which apparently will be a competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home. As typical with Apple, it’s locked tightly to their products and services, and also typical with Apple, it’s a lot more money than the others, priced at $350.
The problem is, unless they get their game together with Siri, it’s saddled with a voice assistant that’s not nearly as good as the others. It doesn’t even have a screen, like the newly announced Amazon Echo Show.
As a long time Apple fan, I have to ask: what’s up with Apple?
Latest in a string of “Eh” products
It’s not that their stuff is downright awful lately. The Apple Watch is nice, a beautiful product that works well, but isn’t particularly useful. There’s the iPhone 7, which is just like the iPhone 6s, except more annoying, since it doesn’t have a headphone jack. There’s the new MacBook Pro, which is so awesome, but completely frustrating to actually use with anything due to its lack of any normal standard computer port. Dongles, anyone?
And now this. A $350 speaker, that I’m sure sounds lovely, but I have to question what the point is. The Echo, at nearly half the price, does a ton of stuff and has a tremendous lead over the HomePod, and sure, perhaps doesn’t sound as good. But who’s buying one of these things if they’re an audiophile?
The Mac Pro has languished for years now, so of course now we see the iMac Pro; a stupidly expensive iMac which yes, is very powerful. But an all in one that many people don’t want to have anything to do with.
It’s all very aggravating, to someone who’s stood by Apple’s decisions over the years, and yes, even made excuses for many of them. I feel a bit stupid now.
I hate to fall back on the (now cliché) statement of “would Steve Jobs be doing all this” or “I miss Steve”. But it’s looking very true, these days. I don’t particularly like Windows 10, and Ubuntu, while absolutely wonderful for many things, isn’t that great for some core things I do (music, video editing), so that’s not a complete solution. But at this point, I’m starting to open my eyes to the world outside of Apple, and see what else is cooking.