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WWDC 2017: Apple Brings Siri-Powered Smart Speaker HomePod

10 Juin 2017

Apple is now using machine learning more than ever before.

Apple is trying to hide this lag by showing off the HomePod's music capabilities. It's a speaker - the gadget costs $350 and will be available in December - that will bring Apple Music and voice assistant Siri to your home.

We had known for a few weeks now that Apple was working on a smart speaker, informally called the Siri Speaker.

He also mentioned wireless speaker systems such as Sonos that "sound good but are not smart" and "other smart speakers" that "don't sound great".

The new Apple HomePod is a Wi-Fi six-array speaker and has Siri, Apple's virtual voice assistant, integrated, so users can ask for what songs to play or the weather. Keeping true with a tradition created by founder Steve Jobs, CEO Tim Cook announced the HomePod as the day's "one last thing". Amazon hasn't revealed a date for the launch of Prime Video app on tvOS, but it will later this year when Apple will release more details about tvOS 4. Google followed with its Home speaker, featuring its plain-named Assistant, last year.

More than 35 million people in the US are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than doubling from last year, according the research firm eMarketer.

Potentially indicative of what Apple probably will come up with its next smartphone, expected to come out later this year on the 10th anniversary of its initial rollout of iPhone, is its plan to release an augmented reality (AR) kit to developers, so as to encourage the creation of AR apps to work with the new device. It will then enter other worldwide markets in 2018. Apple's four software platforms - iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS - provide seamless experiences across all Apple devices and empower people with breakthrough services including the App Store, Apple Music, Apple Pay and iCloud.

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It is also likely only a matter of time before HomePod starts getting services akin to those already being offered by Amazon and Google. Face tracking and natural language-recognition completes also adds to the range of capabilities that one will expect to see in the IoT world in conjunction with Siri as the voice interface.

"I don't think it will be the next iPhone", Blau said of HomePod, "but, Apple could gain share and be a leader".

Yet Monday's announcement, rather than being routine, was the result of a negotiation stretching back at least to 2015 when Amazon stopped selling Apple TVs on its retail site. The new iMacs are updated with better graphics processor that makes them better suited for VR content creation and playback.

The HomePod is Hey Siri enabled with 6 multi-directional microphones that can interpret the way you say "Hey Siri" with its memory. It will not actually block ads, though.

Interestingly, Apple also announced AirPlay 2 earlier today, which lets you pair multiple speakers and play music in multiple rooms. Not a shocking move on Apple's part.

New features coming to iPhones and iPads, meanwhile, include marginal improvements such as syncing messages to Apple servers in the cloud, saving storage space on phones and tablets.

WWDC 2017: Apple Brings Siri-Powered Smart Speaker HomePod