Jessica Booth
January 26, 2018 1:19 pm

Apple has finally unveiled their HomePod, a smart speaker meant to rival existing models like Google Home and Amazon Echo. Like any other Apple product, HomePod has been highly anticipated. Available for preorder at $349, it’s one of the most expensive smart speakers on the market — and that has consumers wondering if it’s really worth the extra cash. To come to a decision, many are comparing this new device to different models from competitors. With this in mind, we’re curious: is the Apple HomePod similar to Google Home? Is one better than the other?

If you’re going to drop over $300 on a tech item, you want it to be a really good one, and you want it to last a long time. With so many cheaper options out there on the market, doing your research is definitely worth it.

The Apple HomePod and Google Home are incredibly similar. They are both speakers that double as home assistants, they have pretty much the same design, and they work with voice control. Here’s a quick breakdown of the similarities and differences between the two:

Speaker Quality

The Apple HomePod is a speaker first, smart home assistant second, so the quality of the speaker is very important. Those who have tested the device seem to agree: the HomePod’s speaker is the best of any smart speaker out there, including Google Home. Refinery29 tested out the HomePod and revealed,

"Fortunately, HomePod also delivers where it counts: The sound. When I listened to the speaker next to Google Home Max, the latest Amazon Echo, and Sonos One, the vocals were consistently crisper and clearer on HomePod. The pluck of guitar strings pops, and bass notes have the robust thump-thump you want from them."

However, as Business Insider has pointed out, that doesn’t mean the Google Home speaker is bad.

Music

The #1 thing most people will be using the HomePod for is to listen to music and in this category, Google Home wins. The HomePod only allows you full music features if you use Apple Music (which you have to pay for). If you wanted to use another streaming service, like Spotify, you can’t use voice commands with Siri — you have to do it through the app like a regular Bluetooth speaker. This isn’t a huge deal, but it is a disadvantage when compared to Google Home, which allows you to stream music from anything with the use of voice commands and other features.

Price

The Apple HomePod costs $349. The Google Home is $130, which is a considerable difference. The Google Home Mini is only $50, while the Google Home Max is $400.

If you’re looking for a basic smart speaker, the Google Home is a lot cheaper.

Home Assistant

According to most testers, Google’s Assistant is much better than Siri when it comes to voice commands. They can both do basic things, like play music, set alarms, and be turned on and off, but that’s where the similarities end. Business Insider says,

"Siri falls behind when it comes to more nuanced contextual questions, or even just fun questions you might want to ask your virtual assistant."

So while these are similar technologies, it appears that Google Home’s Assistant is more advanced than Siri.

Features

As you can see, HomePod and Google Home have very similar features. The disappointing thing about the HomePod, though, is that all of the features aren’t out yet. Although the HomePod is available to preoder now, it doesn’t have certain features yet, like being able to play in multiple rooms or connecting to other speakers (those won’t be available until a vague “later this year”).

Google Home has more features, like being able to actually recognize different voices with personalized responses, syncing to other speakers, and playing in different rooms.

Privacy

Google Home has had issues with privacy before. That’s because it encrypts your conversations, and everything you say is tied to your account. According to MacWorld.com, the HomePod doesn’t start recording until after you say, “Hey Siri,” and then it sends that information using an anonymous Siri identifier. In other words: the HomePod is a lot more private than Google Home.

At the end of the day, these two smart speakers are extremely similar with some differences that will mean a lot to certain people.

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