In this section, we recommend the content that we liked most this week. It may not be new, and have a range of formats, the only thing that matters is that it managed to distinguish itself from everything else we heard, read or viewed in the past week.
The first reviews are in, and there are a few good choices, but if you are going to read just one, this would be my choice. Grubber gives an honest review from an Apple's fan point of view, but that is the best perspective for a product that is targeted at existing iPhone users. Currently, the HomePod is a work in progress still waiting for AirPlay 2, but the hardware looks solid, and it´s the best speaker among its competitors. If you are not in the Apple ecosystem, prefer Spotify to Apple Music or want the most versatile voice assistant; this is not for you.
"’I've been testing Apple’s new HomePod for the last week or so, and this is the first product review I’ve written that could be accurately summarized in the length of a tweet, and an old-school 140-character tweet at that: HomePod does exactly what Apple says it does, doesn’t do anything more than what Apple says it does, and costs $349. "
The HomePod is the last product announced at the 2017 WWDC to hit the market, and with just a few months until the next WWDC, it's a good time to re-watch John Gruber interviewing Phill Shiller and Craig Federighy in the last WWDC.
It's almost unanimous, the biggest flaw of the HomePod is Siri! It´s not that Apple's voice assistant is bad, but it's just not reliable enough to offer a consistent experience and its current implementation in the HomePod is more limited than its competitors. In this episode, Rene Richie talks to Brian Roemmele about the future of voice assistants and how Siri should become a platform in the future. An interesting conversation that got me thinking and hoping that one day Siri will deliver on its original promise.
There's a company that I particularly love, whose service is purely providing online continuous backups. That's Backblaze. It was founded by a couple of computer engineers with a passion for backups. They started backing up friends a family, today they are backing up millions of costumers adding up to hundreds of petabytes. Backblaze also came up with a cool tradition, every year they'll publish a report on hard drive failure rates and performance, and since they go through a lot of consumer and enterprise drives, I think it's a worthwhile read.
It's happening, we're finally seeing an end to video and photo artifacts in the near future. The global shutter is near and it promises to do away with some of the worst byproducts of current sensor technology readout. Let's hope the technology scales fast and that brands start rapidly adopting this new technology.