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

08 June, 2017, 02:06 | Author: Jan Cross

Through six microphones fitted around the edges of the device, users are able to not only control music through voice commands, but also use Siri to access services like news, weather, translation apps, and reminders. It packs a four-inch woofer and an array of seven tweeters, each with its own driver to deliver better sound than smart speakers such as Alexa and Google Home.

According to company, this speaker doesn't send any data to Apple until you say "Hey Siri"... and when it does, it encrypts the data being transmitted through an anonymous Siri ID so no one can listen it. It will cost $349 and will be available in two colors: white and space grey.

"One of the advantages that we have is that there are a lot of things that Siri knows to do from the cloud", he added. The HomePod features Apple HomeKit integration, so Siri can be used for tasks like turning on smart lights or adjusting the thermostat.

Since the launch of Amazon's Echo a year ago and Google Home in March, both of which have been popular with consumers, Apple had been widely expected to enter the market.

Apple has also priced the HomePod much higher than rival devices, though the Cupertino company looks to be targeting music streaming speakers as well as Google and Amazon's smart speakers, so the higher price has some justification.

HomePod owners also won't haveto tinker with the speaker to fit its position in a room, Apple said.

"Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos".

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Apple unleashed a slew of new products, software, and updates at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference, or WWDC, on Monday.

Apple also unveiled new Macs, addressing complaints that Apple has let its Mac lineup languish in favor of its better-selling products, namely the iPhone.

Siri can also handle advanced searches within the music library, allowing users to ask questions such as "Hey Siri, who's the drummer in this?" or create a shared Up Next queue with everyone in the home.

To be available on the market in December this year, the compact wireless speaker has some identical functions offered by similar products made by other companies, such as Amazon Echo, but promises to produce sound with higher quality.

Apple launched a new size for its iPad - 10.5-inches. The entire speaker system is powered by Apple A8, the same chipset that is present under the hood of iPhone 6.

The free software, iOS 11, is expected in September, when Apple typically releases new iPhones. This time, however, the voice-command is an improved version of Siri.

The iMac Pro was to begin shipping in December with a starting price of $4,999. "I think that we today, as we get the developer release out in the hands of the developers, we'll have the largest augmented reality platform in the world".

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