Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable's commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. From playing our favorite songs, to reporting the weather, to ordering a car service for us, gadgets like Amazon's Echo, Google's Home, and Apple's HomePod make our day-to-day lives significantly better. Most models are several hundred dollars, and since they aren't as essential as food or your Wi-Fi bill, it can be hard to justify the splurge. But thanks to this Apple HomePod Giveaway, it's possible to get a virtual, personal assistant for free.
If you were hoping to use the HomePod as a regular Bluetooth speaker, forget about that. Apple has revealed more about the wireless capability and audio sources for its Siri-powered device, and while it has the necessary hardware for Bluetooth streaming, currently it only supports third-party services through Apple's proprietary AirPlay protocol. As was expected, that pretty much eliminates Android and other devices as sources, even if you're running Apple Music, making the HomePod a product strictly for Apple device owners.
Now that the HomePod is nearly here, Apple is dribbling out details of what its first smart speaker will do... including, apparently, that it's a power miser. The company has posted environmental data showing that the HomePod uses no more than 9.25W of power when playing music at 50 percent volume. As MacRumors noted, that's less than the consumption of a typical LED light bulb (such as the 10W of a Philips Hue A19). You're going to use more power if you crank it up, of course, but you probably won't cringe at your electricity bill if you stream music all day.