Apple Gets into WiFi Speakers with HomePod

Lena Tucker
June 6, 2017

By saying, "Hey Siri, I like this song", HomePod and Apple Music become the flawless musicologist, learning preferences from hundreds of genres and moods, across tens of thousands of playlists, and these music tastes are shared across devices.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod, and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president of worldwide marketing. This might be something that could pair with an Apple TV and not only play music but also play the audio for your TV shows and movies. Voiced by a reportedly new and improved Siri, the particular gadget will retail for $349, which is significantly more than its rivals-the Echo now retails for $179 and Google Home for $129-but its speakers are supposedly better than the rest, thus justifying the higher price tag.

The next version of the Apple Watch operating system - watchOS 4 - includes a new watch face that puts the company's intelligent assistant Siri front and centre.

The company introduced iOS 11, the next version of the software that powers the iPhone and iPad. While the Echo and Home aren't known for great sound quality, Apple engineers-presumably with some help from Beats engineers-built the HomePod for high-fidelity audio quality. Yes, you can do the same thing with an Amazon Echo or a Google Home, but remember: this is an Apple gadget. For example, if Siri notices that you're reading stories about Iceland in the Safari web browser, it might begin suggesting Iceland-related news from the Apple News app.

However, people in the know have told Reuters Apple won't go in full charge trying to make everything voice-powered like Amazon, but will instead focus on perfecting a few new features that work well, test them, then roll out more.

The Apple HomePod will be available from December, priced at $349.

Apple is expected to add to those categories at its worldwide Developers Conference next week. You just bark commands at the HomePod, and (to the extent that Siri can understand you) it will do your bidding.

High Sierra will be released later this year as a free update, according to Federighi.

Leading up to it, Apple says those outside app developers have earned more than $70 billion since Apple's app store launched in 2008.

It also uses spacial awareness to adapt and ensure a better sound, depending on its environment, and it works closely with Apple Music.

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the latest operating system for Mac computers. The service, which has been available on the iPhone for more than a year, will use machine learning to adapt automatically to a user's routines, serving up prompts for running apps for those who regularly run in the morning or afternoon. The company could turn out something more striking than Amazon's utilitarian black tube or Google's air freshener. Apple is depending on spatial awareness to achieve its goal of reinventing home music, although it's pretty hard to imagine anyone would shell out $349 for a smart speaker.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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