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Apple HomePod vs Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Henry Burrell | June 23, 2017
We check out the design, features and specs of all three.

The Google Home is powered by a dual-core ARM Cortex A7 processor, while the Amazon Echo has a Texas Instruments DM3725CUS100 Digital Media Processor (thanks for checking, iFixit). Doesn't mean much though, does it?

HomePod will have the A8 chip, the same one found in the iPhone 6 and iPad mini 4. These devices don't need top of the range processors as the functions they perform are straight forward compared to what smartphones are put through.

Google Home is the least equipped speaker here, but we imagine the HomePod will outperform Amazon Echo on the audio front - time will tell if it can match it as an intelligent assistant.

Bear in mind that HomePod will only be compatible with iPhone and iPad. Apple is unlikely to open it up to Android users, but fingers crossed - you can get Apple Music on Android so perhaps it will be possible.

Google Home and Amazon Echo work with iOS and Android devices. You need one to set them up and stay connected to their cloud services in order to function.

Music playback is also limited to Apple Music only on HomePod (for now). You can connect Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, Deezer and more to Home while Alexa can connect to Amazon Music, Spotify, Audible and Pandora. If you already have Spotify you may not want to fork out for an Apple Music subscription too in order to use HomePod. You need an Apple Music account.

Not to rip on Apple here - the product isn't out yet. But at present there is also the least third party app support for HomePod. This is why Apple announced it at WWDC, in order to give developers time to work with the platform.

Google Home connects to third party apps to perform some actions, but it's still learning. More established are Alexa and Amazon Echo's 'skills' that have been integrated into many third party apps such as National Rail, Just Eat, Sky News and Uber. You need specific trigger words to perform these actions though. These speakers aren't miracle workers (yet).


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