If you are in the market for a home assistant, you’re probably wondering which one you should buy. The big two that are available are the Amazon Echo and Google Home. During last week’s WWDC, Apple announced it’s own home assistant. Well, kind of. It’s being marketed as a smart speaker that you can use to control your HomeKit enabled accessories. The difference is that it is also an bit like a wireless speaker. The big question, however is should you wait for it to be available? With the Amazon and Google product being available now, should you wait until December to buy Apple’s version. That’s right, I said December. It’s likely not as far away as you think it is, but still. Do you want to wait six months for a home assistant? Or should you?
The HomePod is more like a speaker than a home assistant. It has some pretty incredible technology built into it that allows the speaker to understand the dynamic of the room to be able to adjust the sounds. At this time, neither the Echo or the Home have the same technology. There are similar capabilities, but if you’re interested in a dynamic musical experience, then you should hold off for the HomePod. That being said, you might be able to get a similar experience out of the Echo as you can connect the Echo Dot to a speaker.
Apple is marketing the HomePod around the idea that it wants to give you a better musical experience. The smart speaker heavily integrates with Apple Music. But if you’re not a subscriber, then you’re not going to get the best possible experience possible. Google Home lets you access Pandora, YouTube Music, Google Play Music and Spotify. The Amazon Echo lets you play Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. That doesn’t mean that you can only use Apple Music through the HomePod, but you have to think outside the box a bit.
Do you want to wait, or do you think you’ll pick up one of the already available options. While these are only two examples of what the three have to offer, I think the question of whether or not to wait comes down to your preferences. I’ve written many posts where I speak to brand loyalty. And this should be no different. If you’re a hardcore Apple fanboy, then you are likely going to want to wait for the HomePod. Time will tell if it will be better than the other two. And honestly, it’s only it’s first iteration. Does anyone remember the first iPhone? Or the first iPod? I mean, are those even a thing any more? My point is that we won’t know if its any better until it comes out.
If you’re not an Apple fanboy, then obviously the HomePod isn’t for you. A few other things to consider though. You can get an Amazon Echo for $179.99. You can get the Dot for less, if you’re on a budget. The Google Home will cost you $129.99, where as the HomePod, like with anything else Apple is going to cost you $349. I can’t comment on this today, but I wonder if it will be worth the extra money? Especially since it’s almost double the cost of the Echo.
Finally, you have to consider the time factor and think about what you want it for. If you want a home assistant, and the listening experience isn’t what you need it for, then the Amazon or Google options are for you. If you’re hardcore about your music sound and you already have Apple products in your home, then perhaps you should wait. I am kind of anxious to see what it’s all about, and how it truly differs from the other two options. Only time will tell if it’s worth the wait.