Apple unveils an Amazon Echo competitor


The Apple HomePod is a smart speaker that features integration with Apple Music and Siri.

Like the Echo and Home, the Homepod has a voice-command system. Both speakers can respond to voice requests for the news, weather and tasks such as turning on the lights. Sounds like, literally, a friend from future. In accordance with previous rumors, the Tim Cook led firm indeed unveiled its debut Home speaker at the WWDC 2017. Corroborating the rumours, the company also launched the Siri-based speaker dubbed as HomePod.

To be "smart", the latest product in Apple's portfolio, known as HomePod, comes with an A8 microprocessor chip, the same power engine in the company's flagship iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet computer. Google followed with its Home speaker, featuring its plain-named Assistant, last year.

HomePod will be available to purchase in white or space grey in December this year for $349 (£270).

Blaber said: "Apple's HomePod speaker casts fresh focus on Siri and will draw inevitable comparisons with the AI smarts of Amazon, Baidu, Google and others". The Cupertino giant has a long reputation for hardware than the other two. The seven-inch speaker is wrapped with a very shiny mesh material, which creates a virtual surround sound throughout a home. With the HomePod, only after Hey Siri is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier.

Apple also unveiled a new iPad and a new iMac at the conference. Making the most of it will require a subscription to Apple's own music streaming service, which runs $10 to $15 per month and has attracted 27 million subscribers so far. By compatible, we mean the speakers need to feature Apple's recently announced AirPlay 2 functionality. Google Home, powered by Google Assistant, retails for $129.

CNET senior editor Ashley Esqueda joined CBSN from Burbank to discuss highlights from the first day of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference. The speaker also integrates with Google's Chromecast, so you can interact with Netflix, YouTube and other visual services via your voice. It uses Wi-Fi standard 802.11 to connect to your smart home devices. No third-party app developer on the planet has updated their apps yet for iOS 11 (how could they?) and there will absolutely be compatibility issues.

Apple said it is also using "on-device learning" to enable Siri to take people's tastes into account.

If Sonos has itself fallen off the pace, it's in its lack of support for Siri-like voice control.

Meanwhile, the Google Assistant is used for Google Home, effectively being a souped-up version of Google Now.



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