What it is: HomePod is now on sale and early reviews are trickling in touting its major advantage.
Sometimes technology moves faster than people are ready for it. When the Apple Watch first appeared, people couldn’t figure out what they could use it for. Then they discovered that it’s primary advantage was real-time health monitoring. When the iPad first arrived, people dismissed it as a larger iPod touch, until they realized apps could do so much more, especially when paired with an optional external keyboard. The iPad has gradually evolved from a convenient tool to challenging laptops for many people. Given a choice between an iPad and a laptop, more and more people are seeing the advantages of the iPad over a traditional laptop.
Both the iPad and Apple Watch have incredible potential, but most of that potential was focused on the future. The Apple Watch has gone through multiple generations to become far more useful and the iPad has grown into the iPad Pro. That same future appears to be what the HomePod will offer.
Initially, everyone agrees the HomePod offers incredible audio quality. If that’s what you want, then the HomePod will deliver. However, the real potential of the HomePod is as a hub to control a HomeKit smart home. Since few people have a HomeKit smart home, that potential use for HomePod remains more potential than practical use today.
That means you can expect HomePod sales to grow steadily over the years. If you want a HomePod for superior audio quality, then get one. For the rest of us, wait and watch as the HomePod gradually evolves and as HomeKit gains more traction. Eventually, HomePod could be as indispensable as an iPhone, but until that day arrives, HomePod is a first generation product that will gradually embrace the world of hands-free computing until the rest of the world finally catches up to it.
HomePod is the future. Unfortunately, the future is not here yet.