Apple is separating the new smartphones into its usual low-cost versus high-cost categories, with big differences between the two models coming down to the camera, display, and battery life.
iOS 13 & watchOS 6 Now Available
HomePod Now Available to Order in Canada, France, and Germany
HomePod is available in white and space gray for $449 in Canada and €349 in Germany and France via Apple's online store and the Apple Store app for iPhone and iPad. It's also available at Apple's retail stores in each country, and at select authorized resellers, including Best Buy in Canada.
Apple recently pushed a software update to the HomePod that enables Siri to speak in French, German, and Canadian English. Apple's website notes that support for Canadian French is coming later this year.
The software update, paired with iOS 11.4, also introduced support for stereo sound and multi-room audio via AirPlay 2. It also enables users to check calendar appointments on the HomePod by asking Siri.
HomePods could already be used abroad in countries outside of the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, but Siri's language options were limited to American, Australian, and British dialects of English, and certain features like Siri's ability to read the news or play music charts were lacking.
While the HomePod has received rave reviews about its sound quality, critics believe the speaker has exposed Siri's shortcomings. Siri Shortcuts should help in that regard, enabling users to connect certain third-party apps to Siri to greatly streamline voice controls with app-specific actions.
In terms of what's next for HomePod, a few rumors have suggested that Apple could release a lower priced version of the speaker later this year or next, although it could end up being a Siri-enabled Beats speaker.