HomePod, Echo, Google Home: How secure are your speakers?

According to Strategy Analytics, in Q4 2016 almost 4 million such speakers were sold globally, of which Amazon commanded an 88% market share. The Google Home clocks in right at that same ballpark, with an MSRP of $129. Even though Apple, Amazon and Google encrypt the data, recordings are saved.

Apple raised the question when it talked up the security and privacy aspects of its newly unveiled HomePod, a Siri-powered speaker that takes aim at the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

According to the company, the Siri-powered smart speaker is created to "reinvent home music", much in the way that the iPod did for portable music. But HomePod, which Apple spent years developing, is still nowhere near as sophisticated as competing products.

Mr Limp said that HomePod's "premium" price tag of $349, compared to Echo's $179 and Echo Dot's $49, also meant that Apple's speaker would not disturb Amazon's sales greatly. But Apple, which was once a pioneer in the market, is now playing catch-up with its rivals.

Which is the best in-home Smart Assistant Among the three?

I hate to bring the rain on Apple's parade but I'm surprised that people are ignoring the obvious fact that there's practically nothing special about Homepod - except that it was made by Apple of course.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the Homepod.

Smart speakers are pretty good listeners, too.

It's here that a lot of attention naturally remains too because of the high profile success of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

However, it still lacks some features that Amazon and Google's products already have.

"This is a smart move because Siri is not that bright and is easily outperformed by Google Assistant while being on a par with Amazon's Alexa". After that point, it gives your request an anonymous ID and encrypts it before sending it to Apple to get a response.

Apple played up the rich speaker quality of HomePod, and synched it with the company's music service that boasts 27 million subscribers. And even though Apple did not mention any improvements to the AI in this year's keynote, it has something with Siri that Amazon and Google wish they had: Reach.

On the other hand Amazon Echo and Google Home supports nearly all smart home integrations. In the Multiroom wireless speakers market, Sonos Play 1 retails for $199, Bose SoundTouch 10 sells for $199.95, and Sonos Play 5 retails for $499.

Technically speaking, you'll be able to play any music you want on the HomePod. The number of smart home devices you can control with HomeKit is far fewer than that you can control with Amazon's Echo - but if you want a smart home that works with Siri, HomePod and HomeKit are your only options.

Siri can also now translate into different languages and it uses a new system to learn about its owner using "on device" AI to learns about a person's likes and dislikes. But thanks to a smarter Siri integrated into this speaker, you can send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene. Amazon's smart speaker is available in two versions - the full sized $180 (£145) Echo shown here, and a smaller, $50 (£40) version called the Echo Dot.

I wasn't expecting Apple to come out of the gate with support for Amazon or Spotify music streaming, but I certainly was hopeful, especially after the company announced, in the same presentation, support for Amazon Video on Apple TV.

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