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Top Five Reasons to Buy a HomePod Mini

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,759
9,452
In my experience, Alexa is unreliable. I have one Echo and two Echo Dots.

Google Home is very reliable. I have one Google Home and one Home Mini.

I have no experience with Home Pods. How reliable is it?
 

Duncan-UK

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2006
310
369
Using the sound quality of the original HP as a benchmark, I wouldn't have any reservations about the sound on the HomePod mini.


This is clearly situational. Everybody's use case is different.


Actually if you take away Siri, you are left with a great speaker. But for me Siri and the HomePod do exactly what I request in terms of music. I do not care to ask Siri, "what team won the last world series."

I would never do that because it struggles to understand even basic requests for music and playlists, and I speak with a relatively RP English accent
 

MacBH928

Contributor
May 17, 2008
4,834
1,858
Like setting up an iPhone, you get a choice of whether you are prepared to have a recording sent for analysis (without any identifying details attached). You are not being actively listened to like Echo and Google. You don’t even have to have the recordings sent. Totally your choice = Privacy. Of course tin foil hat conspiracy theorists will say otherwise, but Apple have no reason to find out where you are spending the weekend Unlike Google.

By default, Apple stores transcripts of your interactions with Siri and Dictation and may review a subset of these transcripts. You can opt in to have the audio of your interactions with Siri and Dictation stored and reviewed by Apple employees to develop and improve Siri by going to Settings > Privacy > Analytics & Improvement > Improve Siri & Dictation.

Your request history is associated with the random identifier for up to six months. Your request history may include transcripts, audio for users who have opted in to Improve Siri and Dictation, and related request data such as device specifications, device configuration, performance statistics, and the approximate location of your device at the time the request was made. After six months, your request history is dissociated from the random identifier and may be retained for up to two years to help Apple develop and improve Siri, Dictation, and other language processing features like Voice Control. The small subset of requests that have been reviewed may be kept beyond two years, without the random identifier, for ongoing improvement of Siri.


But hey, at least they are being honest about it unlike the Goolag and Facebook.

This post doesn't make sense. Siri was never locally processed from day one. Always sent voice requests to Apple HQ. So if you were under the mistaken impression that Siri was processed locally, then I understand your point.

.

I know, but given Apple is so privacy focused as they advertise there was the potential of not sharing the data using their AI vs. the privacy abusers. They could at least let me use dictation and on device command to open apps or send emails without having to store my voice stored in their DB and reviewed. I see no reason why should my voice be sent to Apple if I say "Search Wikipedia for 'Starbucks' ". I can see why they want to send my voice over if I asked something like "Who was the US president in 1921" where it has to take that command to their DB and search for that info.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,289
12,417
Gotta be in it to win it
....
I know, but given Apple is so privacy focused as they advertise there was the potential of not sharing the data using their AI vs. the privacy abusers. They could at least let me use dictation and on device command to open apps or send emails without having to store my voice stored in their DB and reviewed. I see no reason why should my voice be sent to Apple if I say "Search Wikipedia for 'Starbucks' ". I can see why they want to send my voice over if I asked something like "Who was the US president in 1921" where it has to take that command to their DB and search for that info.
You are mixing things up. Dictation is not Siri and does not require an internet connection.


There is also voice control, which does not require an internet connection.

.

Siri requires an internet connection and always has.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,772
2,731
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
One reason not to buy it:

IT ISN’T AVAILABLE IN MY LANGUAGE. I’d have one by now. Still waiting for my homepod to speak my language. Not going to make the same mistake twice, even for 99 dollars

yet you’re typing in pure English which means not o UL can you speak and type/write you can also comprehend and think in English ( typically usually) - so I guess it IS in yo it language yes?
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,772
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
You are mixing things up. Dictation is not Siri and does not require an internet connection.


There is also voice control, which does not require an internet connection.

.

Siri requires an internet connection and always has.

agreed. Yet unfortunately since the iPhone 4S, Siri is enabled by default (out of box & all iOS updates); regardless of your restore configuration setup.

this means very rudimentary and simplistic commands for local device operations cannot be done: What Time is it? Open local file/doc/pic ~ Siri needs an internet connection.

To me I wonder how on earth couldn’t Apple implement local on chip calculations for commands imbedded in iOS. I see this as a major safety or security concern for the visually or physically impaired.

a scenario. Network connectivity is down in a metropolis’ subway system and the train is stopped for more than 30mins between stations with varied passenger mindsets. No simplistic yet important commands cannot be made: power light (is lights are off in the subway+tunnel. Set timer. Create email with time stamp to send to <person/ppl> when connection is established. Call 911 = which doesn’t require cell service of your provider any cell site will make the connection if in range. Public transit has made implementations where basic router connection will still route call over Wi-Fi even though HTML is down as e911 uses a different protocol/port than port80/8080.
 

Uofmtiger

macrumors 68020
Dec 11, 2010
2,083
821
Memphis
1. You can buy 2-3 Echo dots for the same price. 5 right now if you go with the previous gen.
2. Alexa has supported this for years.
3. Much, much more smart products support Alexa than Homekit, and cost generally half as much.
4. Yeah Alexa has also supported this for two years now.
5. Why do I need this? It's a cute gimmick but other than that I can continue playback on my Alexa devices with a voice command.

So let's see: close to whole home coverage for the price of one Homepod Mini thanks to the Best Buy sale going on right now, the same if not better functionality in regards to communication and control of smart devices around the home, easy stereo pairing that improves sound quality dramatically with minimal effort and supports ALL music streaming services including Apple's? Sorry, but no. Apple needs to try a lot harder and compromise on their ridiculous price margins a bit more before I'd ever consider abandoning my Echos for HomePods, Mini or otherwise.
I have the first Homepod and several Dots around the house. The one thing they didn’t mentioned is control of AirPlay 2 on AppleTVs or compatible receiver. I love being able to tell the Homepod to play music in my Den and just have it play on my main system. Would like that for the bedroom, too. Of course, I bet its speaker sounds better than any of my Dots, too. Also, there is the approach to privacy that many will consider.

I guess my top 5 is much different than the OP. Other than sound quality, one thing I much prefer over the Dots is the microphones. They are in another league. Hopefully, the mini homepods will work just as well, but we will have to wait and see.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
You don't know that. I wouldn't be surprised if e.g. Sonos One sounds better than the HomePod Mini - it's competing well with the normal HomePod.

lol no it’s not. It barely sounds any better than it’s predecessor the Play:1 ! It’s nowhere close to the HomePod ~ I’ve owned them all in use exclusively for 2 moths each playing the same songs n playlists in the same rooms in my 800sq ft apartment.
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,772
2,731
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1. You can buy 2-3 Echo dots for the same price. 5 right now if you go with the previous gen.
2. Alexa has supported this for years.
3. Much, much more smart products support Alexa than Homekit, and cost generally half as much.
4. Yeah Alexa has also supported this for two years now.
5. Why do I need this? It's a cute gimmick but other than that I can continue playback on my Alexa devices with a voice command.

So let's see: close to whole home coverage for the price of one Homepod Mini thanks to the Best Buy sale going on right now, the same if not better functionality in regards to communication and control of smart devices around the home, easy stereo pairing that improves sound quality dramatically with minimal effort and supports ALL music streaming services including Apple's? Sorry, but no. Apple needs to try a lot harder and compromise on their ridiculous price margins a bit more before I'd ever consider abandoning my Echos for HomePods, Mini or otherwise.

I don’t even understand the purpose of this commentary.

you make a compelling argument - if one is to only consider price spending as a value on its own or the AI feature set.

yet you’re presuming getting other products to co-mingle in a non heterogenous device/network environment. Unfortunately that’s where the price cost value drops to no value metric at all. Having to use different software va a native implementation will never work as well nor as seamless or less problem free for a very wide ran he of iOS device users and macOS users as well.

A similar comparison is running Windows to launch a video game. Great. Yet to launch a high quality game at a cheaper price via Steam, you gotta launch that app first or have that environment run first upon boot up (early iterations meant a manual run). I’m sure one performance is lost vs Microsoft’s XBox streaming implementation. That’s a. Wry low level basic comparison.

Alexa still has a major security issue that keeps me personally away from their devices - low/high frequency commands that are outside the human audible range are still processed = the hell why?! Also there is no intelligence in range for such commands - like why would a command 10 for outside the open window would be accepted?!

2 iPhones using different iCloud accounts each having “hey Siri” wake command enabled will auto shut off the response to execute vocal command in the home where only the iCloud account is connected to the HomeKit network. That’s intelligent AI to me. Apple got that right. Yet Siri is still limited feature for feature but I’m seeing a 50/50 reason why. I’m not accepting 50% why it’s so far behind yet I’m accepting 50% more of what it does get right.

to many here - you get what you pay for. Something so dirt cheap doesn’t mean it’s good, I presume as a comparison y you don’t see rich/powerful men not get something off The street or falling off the back of a truck vs paying top dollar. Reliability, warranty and assuring you’re not goi NT to be redirected for a solution elsewhere
 

DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
7,772
2,731
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
This is nonsense.

If .gov is listening in in Alexa, they're certainly doing it with Siri too, inckuding your phone.

If only Amazon is listening, great: it's making Alexa better and better with time. If Amazon wants to try to sell me stuff with the data, so what. Everyone is trying to sell me stuff with my data all the time. It's our world now.

I always wait for the "privacy" argument, it is ALWAYS in these threads. And it's always the same, feeling almost scripted. If it is scripted, who is writing the script?

Hmmm.
“Everyone is trying to sell me stuff with my data all the time. It's our world now.”

That in itself also sounds like a script too. Just because it’s our world now doesn’t mean it should be ok or accepted. Should we wait until our home AI speakers start bombarding is like what we typically see in web browsers just starting off 10yrs ago progressing la worse without new security implementations?

odd how NOBODY complains about better security in web browsers yet they do with connected AI devices?! Huh??

maybe we have to see how bad things can get before we really start to ask for a change va just acceptive and dealing with what individuals cannot change themselves in their connected smart home devices.

then again there is that article early 2020 where several hundreds of thousands of owners of the Sonos Play:5 2nd Edition got an update that rendered their $500 original paid device a heavy desk weight. Sonos lamented after huge media bad press of the backlash restored music playback use but crippled features that was once there.

I see Sonos more susceptible than Apple to do this. I see Amazon doing this with huge discounts on cheap products to offset end users view from seeing the issue with shine and glitter of getting new at huge discounts.
 
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DeepIn2U

macrumors 604
May 30, 2002
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I agree I live in The Netherlands which uses the same power socket as Germany and I have drive 2 hrs to an apple store in Germany if I want to buy it.

I can only assume the reason for this is SIRI and Dutch language which is a pain since a) I dont speak dutch I am an expat who speaks English... Well Australian English.

I already have 2 of the original HomePods (purchased in Germany) setup as a stereo pair for with my AppleTV4k and it works great.. Finally have the option now to choose Default Audio but it cant see my HomePods to select them which again is strange since its currently selected manually as the source and I can hear the audio perfectly. So I can only assume this is a Dutch thing since Siri on my AppleTV is disabled by the OS because I use the Dutch App Store but it works perfectly as English on the HomePods

mid you can choose your non-expat country address for the App Store without it affecting say any of your work apps or affecting your pay in any way hopefully that may resolve your current HomePod plight?
 

kyykesko

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2015
340
242
One reason not to buy it:

IT ISN’T AVAILABLE IN MY LANGUAGE. I’d have one by now. Still waiting for my homepod to speak my language. Not going to make the same mistake twice, even for 99 dollars

Same. Apple Watch was a huge disappointment when I realized it understand my language but won't answer in voice, only with text. Totally useless and expensive piece of garbage. Why not allow me to unload all the useless languages it communicates with and replace it with the only one I want to use? My phone can talk back to me, so why not these?
 

kyykesko

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2015
340
242
Might be monetarily cheaper but then you have Amazon listening in on your whole house so you have the cost of trusting them with your privacy.

...because for some reason it's so much better than Apple listening in on your whole house? Oh, but it already does.
 

kyykesko

macrumors 6502
Nov 11, 2015
340
242
So if you buy speakers for their sound quality (which in my opinion you should), then we need to wait

If you buy speakers for their sound quality you don't buy these smart toys. You buy real speakers.

You buy these "smart" speakers for their ability to do stuff rather than their (lack of) sound quality. I've heard they work pretty good in English. Siri is the only one I'm aware of that even understands Finnish, but it's support is so flaky I've no real interest in paying that much money for a mediocre speaker. I rather skip smart assistants and enjoy music through my Devialets.
 

Duncan-UK

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2006
310
369
We can all play a dick waving game with speakers but i like my homepods in places where full systems just aren’t practical.
 

WiseAJ

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2009
702
1,709
PDX
...because for some reason it's so much better than Apple listening in on your whole house? Oh, but it already does.

It all depends on which company you trust more to guard your personal privacy and data. I trust Apple a whole lot more than Amazon (but Amazon more than Google and no way in hell do I trust Facebook)

So yeah the extra expense for a HomePod mini over an echo dot is better and worth it too me.
 

Aston441

macrumors 68000
Sep 16, 2014
1,587
2,282
Hmmm.
“Everyone is trying to sell me stuff with my data all the time. It's our world now.”

That in itself also sounds like a script too. Just because it’s our world now doesn’t mean it should be ok or accepted. Should we wait until our home AI speakers start bombarding is like what we typically see in web browsers just starting off 10yrs ago progressing la worse without new security implementations?

odd how NOBODY complains about better security in web browsers yet they do with connected AI devices?! Huh??

maybe we have to see how bad things can get before we really start to ask for a change va just acceptive and dealing with what individuals cannot change themselves in their connected smart home devices.

then again there is that article early 2020 where several hundreds of thousands of owners of the Sonos Play:5 2nd Edition got an update that rendered their $500 original paid device a heavy desk weight. Sonos lamented after huge media bad press of the backlash restored music playback use but crippled features that was once there.

I see Sonos more susceptible than Apple to do this. I see Amazon doing this with huge discounts on cheap products to offset end users view from seeing the issue with shine and glitter of getting new at huge discounts.

my Alexa's are already starting to throw unsolicited ads at me 😂

it's becoming 😂😂😂 at this point
 
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WilliamDu

macrumors regular
May 22, 2012
248
97
In my experience, Alexa is unreliable. I have one Echo and two Echo Dots.

Google Home is very reliable. I have one Google Home and one Home Mini.

I have no experience with Home Pods. How reliable is it?
I have an Echo Studio, two Echos, and three Dots in my house, two Echos and six Dots in other family locations, all working flawlessly after over a year. Three of the Dots with teenagers who enjoy them immensely and find them useful in their schoolwork-each at under $50.
No reliability problems with Alexa.
They do intercom, accept Bluetooth from Apple mobile devices, and can be grouped and synced for stereo and intercom throughout your house.
Home Pod very likely reliable as with other Apple hardware of which I have lots, but Alexa devices are less expensive and better for their purpose.
There's room for more than one firm in the electronics business.
Apple makes great computers, iPads, iPods and iPhones, burdened currently by unacceptable Apple software QC.
Amazon makes really good, intelligent and versatile audio systems at great prices that work with increasingly good software.
 

WilliamDu

macrumors regular
May 22, 2012
248
97
One word: privacy. I’d rather trust Apple with my home’s smart products and conversations than Amazon. Sure, no company is probably 100% safe but with Apple touting privacy in everything they do, I know it’s at least on the forefront of their minds.
LOL!
 

WilliamDu

macrumors regular
May 22, 2012
248
97
HomePod doesn't need a hard button - there is a hardware chip that detects the phrase "Hey Siri" and nothing else, analyses the sound pattern, starts listening and filters out everything that doesn't come from the person saying "Hey Siri". (So if you are in group with four people and you say "Hey Siri", it won't listen to them). The "Hey Siri" detection is hardware. There's no way around it. If you say "Hey Siri" it listens to you. If you don't say "Hey Siri" it can't hear you. Even if you stand besides the person saying it.

And no, your conversations are not recorded and not used for marketing purposes. Things that Siri doesn't understand are sent anonymously to humans to listen to. They have no idea who is talking. All they know is that it was one of many millions of Siri users. They cannot use it for marketing purposes because they don't know who is talking. They couldn't use it for marketing purposes anyway, because all they would record is things that Siri doesn't understand. So something that would be useful for a marketer, like "Hey Siri, I want to buy a new BMW" is understood by Siri and not recorded.
Do you really believe this?
As long as there is power to these devices, the mike is live.
Whoever is on the other end can hear everything in addition to "Hey Siri.
It just doesn't react, just listens and listens and listens.
If you are worried about no one hearing what you say-pull out the plug.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,289
12,417
Gotta be in it to win it
Do you really believe this?
As long as there is power to these devices, the mike is live.
Whoever is on the other end can hear everything in addition to "Hey Siri.
It just doesn't react, just listens and listens and listens.
If you are worried about no one hearing what you say-pull out the plug.
Yes, I believe this. The mike is live 24x7 but there is not a two way 24x7 path between the HomePod and Apple HQ.
 

I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,289
12,417
Gotta be in it to win it
I have an Echo Studio, two Echos, and three Dots in my house, two Echos and six Dots in other family locations, all working flawlessly after over a year. Three of the Dots with teenagers who enjoy them immensely and find them useful in their schoolwork-each at under $50.
No reliability problems with Alexa.
They do intercom, accept Bluetooth from Apple mobile devices, and can be grouped and synced for stereo and intercom throughout your house.
Home Pod very likely reliable as with other Apple hardware of which I have lots, but Alexa devices are less expensive and better for their purpose.
There's room for more than one firm in the electronics business.
Apple makes great computers, iPads, iPods and iPhones, burdened currently by unacceptable Apple software QC.
Amazon makes really good, intelligent and versatile audio systems at great prices that work with increasingly good software.
My son bought us an echo dot as a present. We used it for a week and the best thing about it we can plug it into the outlet in the kitchen and set timers, without caring if it gets wet. Yeah, I wish Apple had the connect via Bluetooth thing, but I find for my use case, HomePod more useful than the echo and hence we don’t keep the echo plugged in.
 
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