No eavesdropping in this house: Apple's HomePod might feature mutable microphones

No eavesdropping in this house: Apple's HomePod might feature mutable microphones
It seems that Apple doesn't want to reiterate the same mistakes Google did a few months ago - back then, it was discovered that a bug made some Google Home Mini constantly eavesdrop on their users, recording a ton of audio queries without being intended to. Although this was reportedly unintentional and promptly fixed, Google got a lot of bad rep. 

Apple is naturally unwilling to be on the receiving end of a similar treatment, so it seems to be taking preemptive countermeasures. Discovered by Filipe Espósito, a set of new assets unraveled within the iOS 11.2.5 HomeKit app suggest that users will be able to mute the upcoming HomePod's microphones for an extra peace of mind that no one is recording their casual conversations at home. This will be incredibly useful for the upcoming always-on smart speaker, which should potentially prevent it from getting triggered if you're throwing a party and someone decides to have some fun with the gadget on your expense.

Apparently, users will be able to customize the behavior of the HomePod with customizable "Hey, Siri scenes", which could be nothing else but customizable scenarios during which the microphones of the HomePod should remain disabled. 

What's more, a new string of code might also suggest that the HomePod will support multiple users, which should come in handy for families where many people would want to control the gizmo.

We suppose that many of these new features could be detailed once the HomePod finally launches, but given how behind of schedule its market arrival is at this point, there's really no telling when it's coming. It has recently cleared the FCC, so it should probably not take long, but one can never know.


source: @filipekids via 9To5Mac


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5 Comments

1. CHP19

Posts: 50; Member since: Jun 23, 2017

Google Home and the Amazon Echo also have mic mute buttons and commands. Your point being?

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It doesn't matter what they say about Apples Homepod, especially since it's not released to the public yet. But in the end if Apple doesn't have a cheaper version like a mini or dot, then it isn't going to sell very well, period. Especially since Apples Homepod is going for $350 US dollars. You could buy a $50 dot or mini and purchase a Bluetooth speaker for $200 or less, and some have a a battery as well at that price. You could even buy a really great Bose speaker or Sonos speaker for around $200. Then just add a dot or mini to those speakers. 1) you would save money while still have great sound. 2) a dot or mini right now can do a lot more for a lot less than Apples Homepod 3) Siri right now is the dumbest AI on the market in comparison to Google Assistant or Alexa

4. midan

Posts: 3016; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"But in the end if Apple doesn't have a cheaper version like a mini or dot, then it isn't going to sell very well, period. " Just like Apple watch didn't sell? :) This thing will sell in millions, just like every Apple products.

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7451; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You really are delusional midan. Especially when it's a speaker with some AI smarts on board. The smart part is definitely questionable since it's Siri. Can you not see that Apple already sells a lot of speakers. Like their own beats pill for a $160. It even comes with a battery that lasts for hours. There is no battery on this Homepod. You can buy an Echo or Home and/or Chromecast audio for a fraction of what Apple is charging for a dedicated Speaker with Siri. Besides the growth only took off with these smart AI speakers, when they offered smart speakers at a fraction of the cost compared to their larger versions. Clearly you don't know this sector midan. I am sure you are right that Apple will sell millions of these, especially since they have loyal people like that will lap up anything that Apple builds and sells. If Apple were to sell poop on a stick, then midan would be their telling the world that Apple makes the best poop on a stick, and it's worth it. Right midan!

2. cmdacos

Posts: 4267; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Great, so the same feature as everyone else...

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