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Apple Facing An Avalanche Of HomePod Problems, Burnt Wood Surfaces Just One Of Them

After an avalanche of problems with their iPhone X Apple is now facing a new set of new issues with their HomePod which failing to recognise Siri commands and within minutes leaves serious mark on wooden tables, that’s if you can get past the set up stage.

Apple who a short while ago recognised the burning problem but failed to come up with a solution acknowledged claims that the device discolours wooden surfaces, leaving a white mark. They did however suggest that owners go to the expense of getting their furniture re-oiled or sanded.

Gadget review site Pocket-Lint told the BBC it had never seen anything like this problem.

The website’s founder, Stuart Miles, told the BBC that a speaker left a mark on his kitchen worktop within 20 minutes.

“To clear it, I had to sand the wood down and then re-oil it,” Mr Miles said.

“It wasn’t the end of the world for us. But if you’ve bought an expensive Scandinavian sideboard or some beautiful piece of wooden furniture and then got a mark on it from the speaker, you can imagine the horror,” he added.

The device went on sale last week after having been delayed from its original 2017 release date, it’s selling in Australia at JB Hi Fi for $499 while the superior Alexa and Google offering are selling for Alexa, $149 and Google Home $149.

Apple updated its help page to suggest “placing your HomePod on a different surface” if customers were concerned.

“It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces,” the company said.

“The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface.

“If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process.

The problem has also been experienced by a New York Times review and the 9to5Mac news site as well as by at least one member of the public.

The NYT’s Wirecutter site said Apple told it that “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.”

Apple added that if the marks did not improve then customers could “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method”.

Another problem for Apple is that days after the HomePod was released, there are still some new HomePod owners who are unable to use their new speakers due to HomeKit and Wi-Fi-related setup errors.

Because it’s controlled entirely through Apple’s Home app, HomePod connects to HomeKit and relies on a functional HomeKit setup to function properly. Based on reports on Reddit, the Apple Support Communities, and the MacRumors forums, there are a handful of different errors people are running into.
The most common issue seems to be error -6722 or a blank white screen when setting up HomePod, caused by a bugged HomeKit setup. According a HomePod troubleshooting document Apple published this week, there are several possible fixes for the issue.

First and foremost, devices need to be running the latest version of iOS (iOS 11.2.5 or iOS 11.3 if you’re on a beta) and both the Music and Home apps need to be installed on your device. HomePod also requires both two-factor authentication and iCloud Keychain to be turned on.

If these settings are enabled and you’re still seeing the error message and a screen in the Home app that says, “Loading Accessories and Scenes,” Apple says to let the Home app load for 30 minutes or longer until an option to erase and reset app comes up. It’s not immediately clear that you need to run the app for so long to get to that erase option, so make sure to leave it open and running for the full period to get to the reset menu.