Apple just unveiled HomePod, a $349 competitor to Amazon's Echo

HomePod is Apple's first major new hardware product since the Apple Watch's release in 2015, and it comes at an important time for the company.

While the HomePod's price point, compared with the competition, is a "steep barrier", Mr Gillett noted that Apple has put a much more robust processor in the device.

Safari, Apple's web browser, seeks to make users' online experience smoother and less annoying.

For example, if you received a message that asks "How far away are you?" from a friend, Siri will now use something called "on-device learning" that will suggest things like responding with your location or a calendar location.

Apple's also expected to unveil a voice-activated, internet-connected speaker to rival Amazon's Echo and Google Home. The HomePod supports an upgraded version of Siri which can provide a number of specialized music-related features, such as discovery by genre or mood, and supplemental information such as recording credits, history, and related music.

The new smart digital speaker won't hit shelves until December, just in time for Christmas wish lists. The new Echo Show goes on sale on June 28 for $230.

However, Apple won't be releasing the HomePod for some months to come, despite Amazon already having its Echo smart speaker firmly implanted in thousands of United Kingdom homes. But for home use, Amazon's Alexa has been working for longest - so it's learned the most about what we need and already has a lot of third-party partners on-board.

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Safari, Apple's web browser, is getting new features aimed at online annoyances.

But some tech heads reviewing the product said Apple customers might be disappointed by its lack of revolutionary new features. Apple claims that the device will "reinvent" listening to home music, however it remains to be seen whether Apple's admittedly late entry will make much of a dent in the burgeoning home Bluetooth speaker industry.

Apple's next big gadget is the HomePod, a miniature home speaker powered by the company's Siri voice assistant.

The lack of a breakthrough device has periodically raised concerns that Apple has become too dependent on the iPhone.

At the WWDC17 event, Apple also unveiled the new iPad 10.5, iMac Pro and the new operating sytem iOS 11 with the new Control Center along with an updated App Store.

Amazon Prime Video is coming to Apple TV soon, filling a gaping hole in the Apple TV app lineup.

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