WWDC17: Apple Unveils HomePod Powered By Siri

New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

WWDC17: Apple Unveils HomePod Powered By Siri

Analysts said Apple is playing to its strength in the music industry by focusing on sound quality and its catalog of songs. "People's tastes in speakers are unbelievably personal", he says. And sure, there could definitely be room for Apple to come into that space and have some success.

The HomePod is a 7-inch tall circular speaker with a grill mesh that runs around the entirety of the outside and a plain panel up top, which appears to show off the colours of Siri.

The Cupertino, California-based company said Siri, which also competes with Alphabet Inc's Google Assistant, will now work across devices. It will be available in the retail market in December.

"It's hard to get this in every language because you have to get data and train it and even though that's been available in phones for a long time it's much harder in these kinds of devices".

Control Center: Apple has gone ahead and completely redesigned the Control Center, which is where users swipe up to access the most important settings. The firm is jumping into a whole new product category - the home hub.

The smartness around music could give the HomePod a significant advantage over the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.

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That was my quick takeaway after getting to hear a quick demo of Apple's new speaker in a controlled environment versus the $180 Amazon Echo and the $299 Sonos Play:3.

"Apple being very clever by launching its Siri speaker as a music speaker that's smart, because Siri isn't great", said Tom Warren from the technology news site The Verge.

"There is so much momentum building around these speakers that it would be hard for Apple not to come out with one", said industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. However, it's not called Siri Speaker - it's called a HomePod instead. This is Apple's first shot at a device that could potentially manage your home and embed itself into your life in a way your smartphone can't - and in that respect - it underwhelms. The lead-in came during the iOS portion of the event with the announcement that "Speakers" will be a part of Home Kit though iOS 11 and AirPlay 2. It starts shipping in the US, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Being an Apple smart speaker, the close integration with Apple Music is perhaps entirely expected. That's one hell of an ecosystem to birth from thin air.

The moves announced Monday escalate Apple's technological battle of wits with Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. And sales are only expected to climb in the coming years. That's Million, so you know, more than your CD collection. Apple aims to make up that lost ground with the $349 HomePod introduced yesterday. Not only does the speaker use Apple's old, 30-pin iPod charger, but it's so old that the connector only supports Firewire charging, instead of the later generations of iPods, which used a similar physical adapter but used USB. At the time, it seemed like that was actually leading to something. Now? The speaker would likely be tucked into Apple's "Other Products" category, which now includes devices like the Apple Watch, Apple TV and AirPods. So we'll need a 30-pin-to-Lightning adapter from Apple, which still (ridiculously) costs $29, which we'll connect to the Scosche adapter.

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