This week’s top stories: HomePod first impressions, iOS 11.3’s battery health features, and more

In this week’s top stories: Apple releases the latest iOS 11.3 beta with battery performance settings, HomePod arrives, a controversial redesign for YouTube on Apple TV, and more. Read on for all of this week’s top stories…



Apple HomePod Unboxing, Setup and Impressions

The HomePod has arrived to give the Amazon Echo and Google Home a run for their money. For $ 349, the HomePod features seven horn-loaded tweeters, high-excursion woofer, audio beamforming, six-microphone array for Siri, eight amplifiers, Bluetooth 5.0, and Apple A8 chip. How do you like Apple’s new smart speaker? – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

First Impressions From New HomePod Owners: Siri’s Voice Detection is ‘Phenomenal,’ Audio Quality is ‘Immediately Evident’

We’ve seen quite a few HomePod reviews from media sites that Apple invited to test the speaker, but now that the HomePod has officially launched in Australia, HomePod first impressions from regular Apple customers are now available.

New HomePod owners on reddit, Twitter, and the MacRumors forums have been sharing their opinions on the device, and for those awaiting a HomePod of their own or considering purchasing, these comments from average consumers provide interesting insight.

MacRumors reader ApeBot was one of the first to receive a new HomePod in Australia, and he said setting it up was “incredibly fast and easy with an iPhone.” As for sound quality, it’s “impressive” and “fills the room beautifully.”

When using “Hey Siri” with other compatible iOS devices around, the HomePod is the device that responds first, something that future owners HomePod have been wondering about. Since iOS 10, with multiple devices around, when you say “Hey Siri” your devices intelligently decide which one should respond, and it’s no different with HomePod.

Just got my HomePod. Beware, the box lid lifts off.. if you are like me, in your excitement you will hold the box up like Baby Simba in the Lion King and the HomePod will slide straight out the bottom and crash down to the floor.

Setup was incredibly fast and easy with my iPhone. Sound quality so far is impressive. Fills the room beautifully. The top display is captivating. Control via control center on my phone is integrated nicely.

For me personally, it doesnt feel as familiar as Apple products usually do. Maybe thats because it doesn’t have a familiar OS?

Reddit user ghostinthelatrine offered to answer questions about the new HomePod, leading to some insightful discussion. He says the HomePod’s sound “blows the [Sonos] Play 3 out of the water,” and that Siri’s voice detection is “phenomenal.”

Image via reddit user ghostinthelatrine

Holy crap. Siri’s ability to pick up my voice is phenomenal. Really phenomenal. I stood 10 meters away (32.81ft – Thanks, Siri!) with my fridge door open and I was able to just speak like a normal person (this is important for my wife who likes to use the Google Home to set timers, etc.). Felt like I was always shouting at the Google Home.

Using the HomePod as a speaker for the Apple TV was “surprisingly quiet,” even at a high volume level, though the sound itself was described as “crystal clear.” You can also use the HomePod with a Mac as an AirPlay destination from iTunes and it appears as an output device in the Sound settings.

Another redditor shared a detailed list of initial impressions, and he too praised the HomePod’s sound quality and the ease of activating Siri on the device.

– Audio is very good, with impressive clarity and loudness. I’m no audiophile, but I do enjoy music a great deal, and the quality of HomePod is immediately evident from the moment you start using it.

– Setup grabs Apple Music AppleID details, etc from the phone, so no time was spent entering those in

– Hey Siri activates extremely well, at normal speaking volume, and I have been able to get it to play stuff on Apple Music and Podcasts very easily

AirPlay also worked well from both iOS devices and the Mac, with the exception being AirPlaying content from the Overcast app. His other comments focused on the HomePod’s design. The “size and heft” of the device were surprising, and the outer fabric is “soft, but firm.”

Image via Reddit user eats_midgets

The top of the HomePod, where the touch controls are located, is glossy and smooth, and in a separate tweet, another new HomePod owner said this area is something of a fingerprint magnet.

Multiple Twitter users also had thoughts to share on the HomePod, weighing in on everything from the device’s sound to Siri to its power cable.

On the MacRumors forums, upcoming HomePod owners have also listed some songs they’ll be using to test out the HomePod’s capabilities when it arrives, including “Hotel California” from The Eagles, “Prelude and Kiara” from Bonobo, “Hits and Exit Wounds” from Alabama 3, “Core” from Stone Temple Pilots, “Your Latest Trick” by Dire Straits, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

Once the HomePod launches in the UK and the United States, our forums will be filled with HomePod users sharing their opinions and tips and tricks for using the new speaker. Make sure to check out our HomePod forum to share your thoughts on the new speaker, or post them here in this thread, and stay tuned to MacRumors because we’ll have plenty of HomePod coverage both tomorrow and next week.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer’s Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

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Smartron P Unboxing and First Impressions

Smartron launched the P, its first budget smartphone in the series with a 5000mAh battery earlier today for Rs. 7999. Here we have the unboxing of the phone. Box Contents Smartron P in Black color 2-pin charger (5V-2.1A) Micro USB Charger SIM Ejector tool Quick Start Guide and Warranty Information The phone packs a 5.2-inch HD 2.5D curved glass screen. Powered by 1.4GHz Snapdragon 435 SoC with 3GB of RAM, it runs on Android 7.1.1 (Nougat). It has a 5-megapixel camera on the front with LED flash and f/2.2 aperture. There is a 13-megapixel camera on the back with LED flash, f/2.2 aperture and PDAF. There is a fingerprint sensor on the back with smartron branding below it. There is also branding on the back. It has a metal back with plastic finish on the top and the parts where the antennas are present. The build quality is decent for the price. It has a hybrid SIM slot that lets you use two nano SIM cards or a nano SIM and a microSD (up to 128GB). It has 32GB of internal storage. It packs a huge 5000mAh built-in battery that lets you charge other phones using a OTG cable. It has 4G VoLTE …
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