Mobile & Wearable

HomePod 2: 5 things we’d like to see

Let's hope the next-generation HomePod lives up to some of these

With Apple widely rumored to be releasing a second-generation HomePod device at some point in 2020, we thought we’d take the opportunity to round up five things we’d love to see.

Siri improvements

Let’s start with the big one: though Siri has come a long way in recent years, the truth is that it still lags behind rivals Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in some aspects, particularly on the HomePod.

Apple introduced the smart assistant, and it’s disappointing to see so few Siri enhancements year-to-year as Google and Amazon continue to gobble up market share.

Whether Apple decides to purchase a rival smart assistant to integrate more advanced tech like better voice recognition and more human-like responses, or improves the service in-house, this will be the key to the company gaining ground in the smart speaker market.

Cheaper price point

Amazon dominates in the smart speaker market with a 70% market share in the United States, despite fierce competition from Google. Why? Pricing.

The Echo Dot retails for $49 but regularly runs for as little as $24, and the most expensive Amazon Echo is often on sale for less than $100. Apple, on the other hand, charges a whopping $299 for its entry-level HomePod – and that’s down from the $349 the company originally charged when it launched.

The truth is that smart speakers have limited functionality and nobody wants to drop hundreds of dollars for a device that tells them the weather and plays a podcast.

The good news? Apple is reportedly planning to launch a cheaper model in the second half of 2020.

Smaller Echo-like companion device

Speaking of that cheaper speaker, a HomePod mini would be a great way for Apple to bring Siri into more people’s homes and stand a chance of competing with its rivals.

A sub-$50 device doesn’t have to change the world; plug it in, offer some basic Siri functionality, and let it play Apple Podcasts and Apple Music content. The more models available, the more likely people are to switch from the Assistant or Echo ecosystem over to Apple’s premium offering.

Better Apple ecosystem integration

It’s great that Apple offers music and podcasts hand-off from an iPhone to HomePod, but we’d like to see more of that across the rest of the ecosystem.

What about Apple TVs, MacBooks, and Apple Watches? Bring everything closer together and people will use it.

SiriKit

Finally, SiriKit integration would be a great coup for Apple.

We’ve already heard that Spotify may be coming to the HomePod in iOS 14, but opening up the software to third-party audio apps will give consumers more choice and make the HomePod a device that can stand on its own two feet, rather than needing to be subscribed to every Apple service on the market.

Do you agree with our points? Let us know your own Apple HomePod 2 wishlist on social media and check back soon for more news and rumors on everything Apple, every week.

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