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Apple HomePod - Things to know about the Wi-Fi speakers with Siri

09 Juin 2017

In some cases, they're even learning from your preferences and earlier queries.

Apple is reacting to the popularity of Amazon's Echo smart speaker with a Siri-based competitor. There are thousands of Alexa skills available for the Echo, allowing you to do everything from getting news, to checking your bank account balance, to playing Jeopardy. The Echo arrived in November 2014, and Google Home two years later.

Given it's price and features ( or lack of it), it seems very hard for HomePod to challenge Google Home or Amazon Echo.

For time being, Amazon is dominating this new category. 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.

It's especially frustrating because Apple had a huge opportunity with Siri here that it could have taken advantage of.

Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

The HomePod has seven beam forming tweeters and an upward- facing 10.2cm woofer for improved audio output, said Apple.

HomePod, Apple's new smart speaker, is clearly targeted at Amazon's wildly successful Echo.

WWDC unveils Apple's newest gadget, the HomePod
And while Apple has quite possibly made the most attractive speaker of the bunch , its speaker also takes up a bit more room. The speaker can also be linked up to an existing Apple Music subscription, which provides access to over 40 million songs.

Apple explains it as "Apple-Designed Home Music Speaker with Amazing Sound Quality and Intelligence". Why can't software developers do the same?

Besides the HomePod, Apple unveiled a collection of new and upgraded products, including a new computer, the $4,999 iMac Pro. For instance you can voice-activate it with a simple "Hey Siri" using six microphones laid to pick up sound in all directions. "As prices decrease and functionality increases, consumers are finding more reasons to adopt these devices", he added. You could play out that same scenario for a wide variety of music services, including Spotify Amazon's own music service. And to make it more attractive, the company is offering the smart speaker with a discount until June 18.

The HomePod is a distillation of Apple's approach to technology, seen in everything from iOS to Siri. Better hope you're using Apple's calendar application.

"You can buy an Echo Dot for less than $50 and pair it with an expensive speaker with unbelievable sound", says Bradford. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops.

That assessment won't be put to the test until at least December, when Apple's HomePod is released.

Apple hasn't announced an exact date for the release of the HomePod. Most of the news focused on the coming updates for its various operating systems, but CEO Tim Cook also introduced some new hardware.

AirPlay 2 also enables several HomePod units throughout a house to be paired together.

Another thing working against the HomePod is its support of only one music platform, Apple Music. Critics instead saw a negotiating tactic to get Prime Video onto the Apple device, and a prod for people to buy Amazon's competing Fire TV players.