The latest (and greatest!) Smart Home “Hub” is the Apple HomePod. At $349, it’s a bit more expensive than its competitors, but for me it was worth every penny.
The HomePod works seamlessly with my Apple “ecosystem,” and serves as a perfect hub for my other connected devices. I love telling my house to turn the lights on or off, adjust the thermostat or play some music.
And speaking of playing music, with the Apple Music subscription, I can tell Siri to play any song in the entire Apple Music library. An unexpected and fun game is telling Siri to play gibberish, and seeing what song comes up. I can’t lie, I’ve found some new favorite songs just by shouting “Hey Siri! Play sdhfbd skgfhdb sfkg!” It’s even become a fun party game. Or, the start of a light-hearted argument when you can’t agree on Britney or the Beatles.
Although the HomePod lacks the rave reviews of its competitors, it makes up for it with the sound quality. For a small device, it can play music blaringly and uncomfortably loud, filling my entire house with whatever I am listening to.
If I don’t feel like fussing with Siri, I can pull up music, a podcast or even a Youtube video, and send the sound to the HomePod using AirPlay. And my house guests can, too, if they’re connected to my wifi.
Getting quick information is another ancillary benefit. For example, while furiously packing for a recent trip, I was able to ask Siri what the weather was going to be like in Houston. When listening to a song, I can quickly ask “Hey Siri, what year did this song come out?” I can also take phone calls while preparing dinner or cleaning the house.
My HomePod makes my home a more fun and inviting place when paired with my LIFX smart bulbs, too. When I’m playing music, I can set my smart lights to “Music Visualizer,” that changes colors along with the beat. The synchrony of smart devices is what makes them even more enjoyable (and smart!)
Most smart devices don’t require a “Hub,” but I’ve found the addition of a Hub, such as the HomePod, really takes my Smart Home from a three to an eight. I love my HomePod so much, I move it with me from my kitchen, to my office to my bedroom. I think I want another one for my birthday...