This Is the HomePod, Apple's New Home Speaker and Amazon Echo Competitor

This Is the HomePod, Apple's New Home Speaker and Amazon Echo Competitor

With Apple's virtual voice assistant Siri built into it, this smart speaker for homes is in direct competition with voice-activated speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Speaking to USA Today in an interview published on Wednesday, Amazon senior vice president of devices David Limp seemed unmoved by Apple's new smart home speaker HomePod.

Apple is also updating the operating software for its Apple Watch, including new watch faces, more personalized alerts that use machine learning to tailor information to you based on your routines and tastes.

According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, the focus will be on music in the first instance: "Just like we did with portable music we want to reinvent home music".

However, Apple has a well-established reputation for keeping its app ecosystem and platforms under tight control, so developers hoping for more open smart home ecosystems such as Google Home with the Google Assistant and the Amazon Echo Show with Alexa, may be sorely disappointed.

Shipping of the HomePod will begin in December, to the United States, Britain and Australia.




New iMacs unveiled Monday at Apple's annual conference for software programmers are getting better displays and graphics capabilities. Or you could ask Siri to give you directions, or numerous other things. The move is one of the first significant forays by Apple in the voice-technology, since the time it launched Siri way back in 2011.

HomePod is deemed a more expensive competitor of Echo, which was released two years ago.

At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed nearly anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray.

Connecting to the internet over Wi-Fi, the speaker logs into the same Apple Music account as used on the customer's iPhone, meaning their favourite albums, artists and playlists are ready to be requested by Siri and listened to. But Apple occasionally also uses the event to introduce new devices and services and upgrades to existing products. It's powered by Apple's A8 processor, just like the iPhone.

Sources close to Apple's engineering and artificial intelligence teams say that Siri will soon work with apps outside its current remit.

Part of the challenge in marketing the iPad Pro is that "it very much looks like the (regular iPad), but we know it doesn't indeed function like the same product", Huang said.

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