Audiophiles compare HomePod to $85,000 speakers — we’ll tell you why on The CultCast

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Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The HomePod presales have begun, but we’ll tell you why Apple’s new smart speaker may be a huge flop, this week on The CultCast. Plus: Audiophiles are comparing HomePod’s tech to speakers that cost $85,000; Apple adds some long-awaited features to iOS 11; how to back up your iCloud photo library to your PC (and why you should). And we wrap with another episode of Drone Chat! This time, we’ll tell you why DJI’s Mavic Air is the perfect drone for almost everyone.

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Episode

CultCast #320 – Why Apple’s new HomePod is poised to bomb
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This week’s stories

HomePod preorders begin Friday ahead of Feb. 9 launch

  • Apple today Wednesday that it will release its $349 HomePod on February 9.
  • Preorders start this Friday!
  • That technology includes a seven-tweeter array and a 4-inch woofer — plus spatial awareness capabilities. These allow HomePod to “read” its environment and tailor audio output for the best results, though this functionality won’t be available until later this year.
  • In large rooms, you can even pair multiple HomePods for bigger sound.

Why Apple’s HomePod is poised to bomb

  • HomePod, the first new Apple product of 2018, is about to arrive. And as a huge Apple fanboy, I couldn’t care less.
  • Thanks to Siri, HomePod is great at the things you want to know, and do, in your home. Set timers. Convert measurements. Get translations. And get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists that anyone can add to.
  • Will it replace an iPad or AppleTV as as HomeKit hub?
  • It’s too damn expensive
  • Siri sucks
  • You’re stuck with Apple Music
    • Will spotify work at all?
  • HomePod is not even finished yet!
    • No stereo or multi-room support till alter this year

Audiophiles on Reddit are comparing HomePod’s tech to speakers costing 85,000

iOS 11.3 beta 1 is out with iCloud Messages, new Animoji and more

  • Apple gave the public a preview of the new features coming in iOS 11.3 Wednesday.
  • iOS 11.3 beta 1 contains a number of notable improvements, including iCloud Messages. Apple also added the ability to view your battery’s health and choose between increased performance or better battery life. The new feature is in response to criticism Apple received from customers after it was discovered that Apple throttles CPU speeds on iPhones with older batteries.

Messages on iCloud is almost ready — and you’re going to love it

  • Messages on iCloud were first previewed at WWDC 2017. Apple pulled it from later beta builds though as it wasn’t ready for wider use
  • Well it’s finally entering the beta testing phase among developers.
  • Once iMessage on iCloud rolls out to the public you’ll be able to delete iMessage conversations to save space on your device. Conversations will still be accessible on your other Apple devices though and on

DJI unveils impossibly tiny new Mavic Air drone

  • The most popular consumer drone on the market just got a huge upgrade that gives it even more mass appeal for budding droners and video creators.
  • DJI unveiled its new folding drone, the Mavic Air, today. A blend of the company’s two most popular drones, the Mavic Pro and the Spark, it also packs new features you won’t find on DJI’s other drones.