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Apple won't be HomePod for the holidays (The 3:59, Ep. 319)The $349 smart speaker is delayed until 2018, plus we talk about the new Google Pixel Buds.
[MUSIC] Welcome to the 359, I'm Ben Fox Rubin. I'm Alfred Ng. Interested in buying Apple's new HomePod smart speaker for the holidays? Well, you're out of luck. Apple, on Friday said, it's delaying the release of the device up until next year. To me, this is a pretty big miss. As far as I'm concerned, Apple was late already to the smart speaker world. Siri isn't that good to begin with. They really needed something like this to try to engage people in their smart speaker and now they're just saying Alright, we're gonna see it next year. Yeah, well I figured if you're going to be late, you might as well just continue being late to make sure you have the best product out there. I think it's much better than rushing out and, here it is, even though it's not as good as it could be and I think there's a lot of people who are willing to wait for Apple. Totally. And already been for waiting two, three years now. So what's another year? I mean, that does remind me of an old saying of mine where if you're gonna be late, you might as well already be very, very late. Which is like, okay, fine. I don't know. Do you find this at least Remotely embarrassing for the company. You're supposed to have a product launch for the holiday season, this is a major tech company, they should have stuck this landing. Yeah, I don't know. I don't think Apple actually needs the holiday season. I mean, think about when they release their phones and their laptops and those seem to do just fine without the holidays. They do especially with the phones, they do release them around September As people get started. Um-hm. Into the holiday season. But you know, you're right to the point that they don't. Yeah, but maybe they don't come out during the great President's Day sales. Or, you know, they don't do a lot of sales to begin with. So you know, that's pretty true. President's Day is a great holiday. President's Day. [LAUGH]. Next up, CNet's own, David Carnoy, reviewed the new Google Pixel Buds, a pair of $159. Bluetooth ear buds that can translate speech in real time. Unfortunately, the translation is only available for Pixel phone owners and David said it isn't really that different than the existing Google Translate app. Apparently there were a lot of reviews that were a lot nastier about this product. Yeah, a lot of people did not like the Pixel Buds. Which brings me back to the Home Pod point, Would you rather have something rushed to market and not work as well and eviscerated? Or, would you rather just be a year late and have it be some what decent? I actually don't know if the home [UNKNOWN] will be decent but that's what I'm assuming they're waiting it for. I think the problem that I have with the Google Pixel 2 is that, this is a problem with very high expectations. When Google first announced there things. Everybody was talking about how this was, like, hitchhiker guide to the galaxy babblefish. You're gonna stick them in your ear and all of a sudden you're gonna understand Chinese, or Spanish, or Hebrew- I will say I was definitely one of those chumps that when I saw the announcement, I was, like, this is incredible. I mean, I'll get this for my parents. This is gonna change everything. [CROSSTALK] Any issues with translations or anything like that. Turns out that is not the case. It actually doesn't translate in real time. It kinda, it's basically like listening from your phone, like the translate app. Yea. So it's only as good as Google Translate is. Which. It's basically a shortcut. It's a shortcut from the Google Translate app. And the entire, quote unquote, killer feature of this thing isn't that different. Yeah. Than a free app. The fact that it's not even that great of a bluetooth headsets to begin with. That's definitely disappointing considering that they're charging $160 for it. And it always appeared really bulky to me. I mean, it has a touch screen feature on it, but not my cup of tea. I don't know. David described them as they look like Mentos breath fresheners that you just kind of stick in your ear and they stay there, so. Not really something that I would be too excited about. But hopefully, they come up with something more similar to the Babel Fish at some point. Either way, if you wanna read more about these stories, check us out on CNET. I'm Ben Fox Rubin. I'm Alfred Ng. Thanks for listening. [MUSIC]