I signed up for Spotify about a year ago. It worked fine when I had a specific artist or album in mind, but I found the playlists and the recommendations to be weak. I think this was because Spotify didn’t know enough about what music I loved.
Six months ago I bought a car with Apple CarPlay integration. It rocks. I love being able to use Siri to send and receive messages, make calls, control music, and more.
But CarPlay doesn’t play well with Spotify. While you can play Spotify audio through CarPlay, you can’t use Siri to control it. So I decided to switch to Apple Music. I can now use Siri to play any artist, album, playlist, or shuffle.
I love Apple Music so much more than Spotify. I had 10k songs in my iTunes library that I purchased over a 20 year span. Apple Music instantly used that to understand what music I love and build recommendations. I’m now listening to great music, old and new. This reminds me of when I got the first 5GB iPod in 2001. Having all your songs on the go means you are taken back in time. You hear things from your past that you forgot about.
About a year ago I also purchased AirPods. I carry them around everywhere I go. I listen to way more music than I did pre AirPods, and a lot more podcasts. It’s a game changer.
I also bought a HomePod. This was mostly because I wanted to compare it to Alexa. The sound quality is exceptional. It’s not as good as my home theater, but way better than my Echo.
I’m also very impressed by Siri. I can speak to Siri in a much more natural way than I can with Alexa, and Siri often responds with something witty, which I love. It doesn’t feel like I have a robot in my home.
HomePod is also much, much better than Alexa at picking up voice commands. While music is playing, I can be in a different room, facing *away* from the HomePod, say something in a normal volume, and Siri nails it every time. It’s shockingly good.
I care a lot about my privacy, but I’m not overly paranoid. I’m fine using Alexa or Gmail if they are the best product, but I’ll switch away if I can have more privacy. I’m happy to say that HomePod means I’m removing Alexa from my home. It works for music and home automation, which is all I care about.
In 2001 Apple released the iPod and you had every song in your pocket. Today I have every song in my car, home, and on the go. And it’s all controlled perfectly by voice. I’m locked in to Apple Music because it works better than Spotify across all these devices.
This is what great company strategy look like. Apple is making a ton of money because they give me the most killer user experience out there.
Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products. We trust as a consequence of that, people will like them, and as another consequence we’ll make some money. But we’re really clear about what our goals are.
– Jonathan Ive, Apple Inc.