Tuesday Morning News
If iFixit are saying the HomePod is built like a tank, you need only look at their teardown to verify their claim. While it’s technically possible to remove the acoustically-transparent mesh material that keeps dust out without damaging it, you have to go through a few rubber plugs, Torx screws, and circuit boards. Durability shouldn’t be an issue for the HomePod, but it’s not like you’ll be wanting to repair it yourself.
Interestingly enough, the HomePod’s power cable is removable. With a bit of force, you can yank the power cable right out of its socket, revealing two tiny power pins. Seeing as the HomePod has an internal power adapter and not some chunky external brick, 9to5Mac speculates the reason for the removable power cable as being about design aesthetics, ease-of-installation in tight places, and the reason why you can’t buy a replacement is because you probably shouldn’t be removing it unnecessarily.
The true magic of the HomePod is how well the sound stage follows you around the room, even compared to high-end reference speakers. Even with a single HomePod, stereo sound is possible thanks to an array of tweeters and some smarts controlling how the tweeters interact with each other. The only question I have is: if a single HomePod sounds this good, won’t two be completely overkill?
An audiophile review of the HomePod from the audiophile subreddit has been linked to everywhere on the internet today, but the lengthy analysis concludes that HomePod is a legitimate audiophile-grade speaker. It sounds great at all volumes, adapts impressively, on-the-fly, to any environment it’s placed in, but comes with a few big caveats that contribute to making the HomePod unsuitable as a product for a wider audience.
And even if you’re firmly ensconced within Apple’s walled garden, the HomePod is a classic first-release product from Apple. Not all of its features are available at launch, it only does a few limited things, but it does those few things well enough that the overall experience is still great. Setup is almost too easy, and the ability to expand the HomePod’s capabilities via software is there, making the HomePod a viable future product.
But as it stands, Siri is probably the biggest let-down of the HomePod thus far. Not only does HomePod amplify Siri’s shortcomings when it comes to voice recognition, as recounted in a humorous tale from Jared Sinclair, but the differing capabilities of Siri when compared to other iOS devices is also strange.
John Gruber says there’s a real threat to the Mac that comes in the form of non-native Mac apps. Gruber says that while Apple has been trying to push the envelope forward for Mac app security, sandboxing Mac apps seems counterproductive, perhaps one iOS idea that shouldn’t have made the jump.
A report from Bloomberg tells us about Apple’s software plans for this year and next. Annual software updates are here to stay, but Apple’s aggressive features releases will be somewhat toned down a bit, paving the way for steady, iterative improvements that have as much of a focus on stability and security as they do on new features. That means new iPad features likely won’t land until next year, but I think Apple can afford the time.
Macworld has the info on what does and doesn’t get backed up when you perform an iTunes backup of your iOS device. Apps and music are the main ones, with images and videos also being a possibility if you’ve already synced them from Photos or elsewhere.
Three new iPhone X shorts from Apple show you how to shoot a portrait selfie, how to edit your portrait selfie, and how to create a bouncing Live Photo.