The big iOS-related news of the week is that Apple starts selling the HomePod today. A number of reviewers have had the chance to try out the product for the last week. The consensus seems to be that the speaker sounds amazing, much better than any of the other smart speakers on the market such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos. If you use Apple products like the iPhone and want an external speaker to fill your living room, kitchen, etc. with fantastic sound, the $350 HomePod is perfect for you. The HomePod has Siri built-in, so you can tell it what to do, and reviewers noted that, thanks to some pretty amazing technology, the HomePod does a great job of hearing your voice even when loud music is playing. The main critique of the HomePod is that while Siri works well for controlling music and some other items like your HomeKit-enabled devices such as lights, you cannot ask Siri as many things as you can ask a Google Home or an Amazon Echo. Attorney John Voorhees of MacStories has one of the better roundups of the HomePod reviews, so read that article for more information if you are trying to decide whether or not to buy one. And if you want to dig deep, Rene Ritchie of iMore has one of the most in-depth reviews. And now, the other news of note from the past week:
- Teresa Matich of Clio recommends iPhone and iPad apps for lawyers.
- California attorney David Sparks discusses the 150+ new Emoji coming out later this year.
- Jesse Hollington of iLounge reviews the Koogeek Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Outlet, a power strip that works with HomeKit so you can independently control the three outlets using Siri, an iPhone, your HomePod, your Apple Watch, etc. This is the first HomeKit power strip that I've seen.
- Andrew Orr of The Mac Observer lists all of the apps that support the iOS 11 Files app.
- If you backup your iPhone or iPad using iTunes on a computer instead of using iCloud, Glenn Fleishman of Macworld explains what is not made a part of the backup.
- Ben Lovejoy of 9to5Mac reports that a large-scale study shows that the Apple Watch can detect early signs of diabetes.
- Earlier this week, I reported on Apple's 2018 first fiscal quarter. Horace Dediu of Asymco prepared a fascinating annotated version of the opening comments of Apple CEO Tim Cook and Apple CFO Luca Maestri.
- And finally, there are two video reviews of the HomePod that are worth watching. Attorney Nilay Patel of The Verge created a very polished video review of the HomePod. And Joanna Stern of the Wall Street Journal, who has a knack from coming up with an amusing way to approach a video review of tech products, took the HomePod to a theater for this funny and informative video review: