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Siri on HomePod Correctly Answered 52.3% of Queries in New AI Test

In a new test shared today by Loup Ventures, Apple's HomePod was put through its paces in categories including Siri, sound quality, and ease of use. For Siri, Loup Ventures' Gene Munster reported that while the AI assistant understood 99.4 percent of queries asked of it, it answered only 52.3 percent of them correctly. Loup Ventures tested three separate HomePods and asked 782 queries total.

Compared to previous tests of rival speakers, HomePod is "at the bottom of the totem pole" in the AI assistant performance category. Google Home answered 81 percent correctly, Amazon's Alexa answered 64 percent correctly, and Microsoft's Cortana answered 57 percent correctly.

Munster broke this information down further, stating that Siri is good for "local" and "commerce" queries, like asking about nearby coffee shops or assisting in buying new shoes. In this area, Siri beats Alexa and Cortana but still falls behind Google Assistant on Google Home.

Despite the low percentage of correctly answering the 782 total queries asked of it, Munster said Siri's overall performance rose above expectations "given the limited scope of HomePod's music focus."

Chart via Loup Ventures
The researchers explained that over time HomePod and Siri should grow to match, or surpass, rival assistants by simply adding query domains like calendar, email, calling, and navigation.
Some domains like navigation, calendar, email, and calling are simply not supported. These questions were met with, “I can’t ___ on HomePod.” Also, in any case that iPhone-based Siri would bring up Google search

Apple Shares New HomePod Tutorial Videos on YouTube

Following the launch of the HomePod, Apple updated its dedicated YouTube support channel with three new tutorials for the smart speaker, walking users through features like using Siri to play music, using the HomePod's touch controls, and adjusting the HomePod settings.

Each tutorial video is about a minute in length, and in the description, Apple links relevant support documents, which can be useful for finding additional HomePod documentation.






Apple's YouTube support channel, introduced back in November, is where Apple shares tutorial videos that are designed to provide users with tips on using their iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices.

Along with the new HomePod videos, Apple has in the past shared quick tips on features like 3D Touch, iCloud backups, editing videos, sending emails, signing documents, taking screenshots, deleting photos, and

HomePod Hands-On: Unboxing and Overview

Today's the official launch day of the HomePod, Apple's new Siri-powered smart speaker. As of now, the HomePod is available in all three launch countries -- the United States, UK, and Australia.

The first orders have gone out to customers who purchased a HomePod starting on January 26, and Apple retail stores also have plenty of supply for walk-in purchases.

We picked up a couple of HomePods this morning, and MacRumors videographer Dan has spent the last few hours testing out the sound quality, the Siri integration, the HomeKit controls, the touch gesture integration, and more.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.
Design wise, the HomePod is deceptively small, but it's also heavy and has a solid build. It's covered in a soft, pliable mesh material meant to enhance sound, and there's a fabric-covered cable at the back.

After a bit of a snafu with the setup process, which appears to be related to HomeKit and iCloud keychain and is something we'll need to investigate further, we had the HomePod up and running with an alternate Apple ID.

Sound, as previous reviews and impressions have suggested, is incredible. Music is crisp and clear, with the HomePod highlighting and separating every element of a song. Even if you're not an audiophile, you're going to notice the high-quality sound of the HomePod right away.

We tested HomePod with Apple Music, which is how HomePod is meant to be used, but you can also play music from other third-party music services like Spotify using AirPlay.

HomePod's voice detection works impressively well, with

iPhone Source Code Was Leaked by Low-Level Apple Employee

Earlier this week, source code for iBoot, a core component of the iPhone's operating system, leaked on GitHub. The code was old, for a version of iOS 9, and it was quickly pulled from GitHub after Apple issued a DMCA takedown notice, but it left many wondering how such sensitive code ended up publicly available.

To answer that question, Motherboard got in touch with unnamed sources who were involved in the leak and investigated screenshots, text messages, and more, to determine just how it happened.

As it turns out, the code originally came from a low-level Apple employee who took the code from Apple in 2016 to share with friends in the jailbreaking community. This employee wasn't unhappy with Apple and didn't steal the code with malicious intent, but instead was encouraged by friends to obtain the code to benefit the jailbreaking community.
The person took the iBoot source code--and additional code that has yet to be widely leaked--and shared it with a small group of five people.

"He pulled everything, all sorts of Apple internal tools and whatnot," a friend of the intern told me. Motherboard saw screenshots of additional source code and file names that were not included in the GitHub leak and were dated from around the time of this first leak.
The original group of five people who were provided with access to the code didn't intend to share it, but it somehow got out. From one of the original people involved:
"I personally never wanted that code to see the light of day. Not out of greed but because of fear of the legal firestorm that would ensue," they said. "The

HomePod is Now Widely Available at Apple Stores

Today is HomePod launch day in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia, and as promised, the speaker is now on display and available to purchase at most of Apple's retail stores in each of those countries.

HomePod box via Kris Jones on Twitter
HomePod has already received rave reviews for its sound quality from both the media and early adopters, but customers who prefer their own listening demo can now visit one of Apple's stores to hear it for themselves. Of course, customers can also take advantage of Apple's 14-day return policy and try it at home.

Most if not all of Apple's retail locations currently have plentiful stock of the speaker in both Space Gray and White, but we recommend calling ahead before making the trip. To check availability in your area: go to the HomePod order page, click on the link under the "Pickup" section, and enter your ZIP or postal code.

HomePod orders placed online today are estimated for delivery by Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, so if you didn't pre-order the speaker, visiting an Apple Store is the only option to get one in your hands this weekend. Some resellers like Best Buy may also have limited in-store availability.

Meanwhile, deliveries are beginning to arrive to customers who did pre-order the HomePod a few weeks ago. If you've received yours already, be sure to share your thoughts in the MacRumors discussion

Apple to Charge $279 to Repair or Replace a Damaged HomePod Without AppleCare+

Apple today updated its HomePod support website with out-of-warranty service pricing for the speaker, which is arriving to customers in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia starting today.

HomePod owners who do not purchase AppleCare+ will pay $279 in the United States, £268.44 in the United Kingdom, and $399 in Australia for Apple to repair or replace a HomePod with any damage, unless the issue is the result of a manufacturing defect covered by Apple's limited one-year warranty.

HomePod service can be obtained with an appointment at an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Apple also offers to send customers a box to ship their HomePod to its repair center for an additional fee of $19.95, £13.44, and $29.95 in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia respectively.

HomePod costs $349 in the United States, £319 in the United Kingdom, and $499 in Australia, meaning Apple's replacement fee is 80 percent of the cost of a brand new one, so AppleCare+ could be worthwhile.

AppleCare+ extends a HomePod's hardware coverage to two years from its original purchase date, and adds up to two incidents of accidental damage coverage, each subject to a service fee of $39 in the United States, £29 in the United Kingdom, and $55 in Australia, plus the upfront cost of the plan.

Is it worth it to buy AppleCare+ for HomePod?


We've put together a chart to compare the potential costs of replacing a damaged HomePod with and without AppleCare+ in each country:

AppleCare+ for HomePod: United States / United Kingdom / Australia
Since the

DirecTV Now Sweetens Deal: Prepay Three Months of Service for $105 and Get a Free 32GB Apple TV 4K

DirecTV Now has updated its Apple TV 4K deal today with an even lower price point: if you prepay for just three months of the streaming TV service for a total of about $105, you'll get the 32GB Apple TV 4K for free. The deal is an improvement on the original DirecTV Now offer of prepaying for four months of the $35/month service (that's the entry price point), which ended up costing $140 for the 32GB Apple TV 4K.

This makes DirecTV Now's deal the best sale price currently available online for the Apple TV 4K, with the $105 price tag up to $75 cheaper than the device's current going rate of about $170 to $180 at retailers like B&H Photo and Best Buy. You could also opt for the higher cost packages of DirecTV Now when prepaying for three months, with the service increasing to $50/month, $60/month, and $70/month for additional channels.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Once ordered, the Apple TV 4K arrives in the mail within a few weeks, and if you don't want to continue to pay for DirecTV Now at the end of the three month prepaid period, you can cancel it before you're billed again and keep the Apple TV 4K. The offer is limited to new DirecTV Now subscribers in the United States, but existing customers can take advantage of it by using a different email address. There's also a limit of one offer per DirecTV Now account and two per shipping address.

Below you'll find more of the fine print on the refined deal:
4K Apple TV

First Impressions From New HomePod Owners: Siri's Voice Detection is 'Phenomenal,' Audio Quality is 'Immediately Evident'

We've seen quite a few HomePod reviews from media sites that Apple invited to test the speaker, but now that the HomePod has officially launched in Australia, HomePod first impressions from regular Apple customers are now available.

New HomePod owners on reddit, Twitter, and the MacRumors forums have been sharing their opinions on the device, and for those awaiting a HomePod of their own or considering purchasing, these comments from average consumers provide interesting insight.

MacRumors reader ApeBot was one of the first to receive a new HomePod in Australia, and he said setting it up was "incredibly fast and easy with an iPhone." As for sound quality, it's "impressive" and "fills the room beautifully."

When using "Hey Siri" with other compatible iOS devices around, the HomePod is the device that responds first, something that future owners HomePod have been wondering about. Since iOS 10, with multiple devices around, when you say "Hey Siri" your devices intelligently decide which one should respond, and it's no different with HomePod.

Just got my HomePod. Beware, the box lid lifts off.. if you are like me, in your excitement you will hold the box up like Baby Simba in the Lion King and the HomePod will slide straight out the bottom and crash down to the floor.

Setup was incredibly fast and easy with my iPhone. Sound quality so far is impressive. Fills the room beautifully. The top display is captivating. Control via control center on my phone is integrated nicely.

For me personally, it doesnt feel as familiar as Apple products usually do. Maybe

First HomePod Orders Start Arriving to Customers in Australia

Apple customers in Australia are always the first to get their hands on new devices on launch day, and now that it's after 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 9 in the country, the first HomePod orders have started arriving to customers.

Australians who ordered the HomePod starting on January 26 have begun receiving their deliveries and have shared their excitement over the new device on reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and the MacRumors forums.

Image via Twitter user @rajdeut
Apple Stores in Australia are also now open, allowing customers who placed orders for in-store pickup to receive their devices. Retail locations also have stock for walk-in purchases, and in Australia, same-day in-store pickup is once again available.


Following Australia, HomePod sales and deliveries will kick off in the UK in about 10 hours, followed by North America. Apple Stores in all three countries are opening up right around 8:00 a.m. to allow customers to make HomePod purchases.

Throughout the pre-ordering process, which kicked off on January 26, Apple had ample HomePod stock for customers. Shipping estimates and in-store availability only began slipping earlier this week, likely due to Apple's preparations for launch day. Orders placed online for a HomePod will ship out early next week.


In the United States, the first HomePod deliveries will take place on the east coast starting at 8:00 a.m. The HomePod is

Apple Confirms iPhone Source Code Leak is Real, But Says its Security Doesn't Depend on Secrecy

Source code for iBoot, a core component of the iPhone's operating system leaked on GitHub yesterday, raising concerns that the hackers and security researchers could dig into the code to find iOS vulnerabilities.

In a statement issued to MacRumors this morning, Apple confirmed the authenticity of the code but emphasized that it's for iOS 9, a three-year-old operating system that's been replaced with iOS 11 and is in use on only a small number of devices.
"Old source code from three years ago appears to have been leaked, but by design the security of our products doesn't depend on the secrecy of our source code. There are many layers of hardware and software protections built into our products, and we always encourage customers to update to the newest software releases to benefit from the latest protections."
Based on data from Apple's App Store support page for developers, iOS 11 is installed on 65 percent of devices, iOS 10 is installed on 28 percent of devices, and earlier versions of iOS, such as iOS 9, are installed on just seven percent of devices.

In addition to acknowledging that the leak contained real source code, Apple this morning also sent a DMCA takedown notice to GitHub this morning, successfully getting the code removed from the site.

The data that was shared on GitHub was incomplete so the iBoot code was not able to be compiled, but it did include a documents directory that offered up additional information relevant to iBoot, and combined, the data leak could make it easier to locate vulnerabilities to create new jailbreaks.

Average users should

Apple Picks Up 'Little America' TV Show Written by The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon

Apple has picked up a new TV show called "Little America," a half-hour anthology series written by Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, the duo behind popular movie "The Big Sick," and Lee Eisenberg, who produced comedy series "SMILF" and will serve as showrunner.

According to Deadline, "Little America" is based on a series of true stories featured in Epic Magazine that paint a portrait of America's immigrants. From the magazine description:

Everyone here came from somewhere else. Even Native Americans crossed the Bering Strait at some point. This is the basic American idea -- an identity open to all -- but it can be easy to forget from inside. And that's when politics can turn ugly, as it has recently, with our political narrative becoming a story of blame and fear. "Little America" is meant to counter that narrative with a fuller portrait of our most recent arrivals. Here we present just a few stories.

You'll meet a woman who kissed a car for 50 hours. A man who escaped communism via zip-line. A Hindu Mayor of a small Kansas town. These stories are a small, collective portrait of America's immigrants. And thereby a portrait of America itself.
The show will reportedly look at "the funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and unexpected lives of immigrants in America." Nanjiani and Gordon will executive produce, alongside Alan Yang, "Master of None" co-creator, and Eisenberg.

"The Big Sick," written by Nanjiani and Gordon, won multiple award nominations and was the highest-grossing indie movie of 2017. Nanjiani is also known for his work on "Silicon Valley."

Apple News Introduces Coverage Portal of 2018 Winter Olympics in Partnership With NBC

Apple News will be a go-to source for coverage of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, which officially begin with Friday's opening ceremony, although some competition is already underway.

A new section devoted to the Winter Olympics is now available within the "For You" tab of Apple News in the United States, and it will feature articles, videos, and other coverage of the games over the next two weeks.

Apple has partnered with NBC for the new section, but coverage will be provided from a variety of sources, according to Ingrid Lunden at TechCrunch. Live streams and full replays of specific events will link directly to the NBC Sports app, while clips from events will be viewable within Apple News itself.

The portal will also feature a planner for viewers to figure out when specific events are scheduled, and it will allow users to add events they want to watch to their calendars. There will also be a medal tracker and daily roundups given a 14-hour-plus time difference between South Korea and the United