New Smart Speaker Expected As Apple Kicks Off Conference

The Siri-enabled speaker links up with the Apple Home app, allowing users to control their connected smart home devices by voice, without touching their iPhone or iPad. Considering all three smart speakers have similar functionality, it will be interesting to see if Apple's inclusive ecosystem will influence successful sales of the Cupertino company's newest device.

In this Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 file photo, a person stands.

HomePod will run on the Apple A8 silicon, with what Apple is calling "perhaps the biggest brain ever in a speaker".

Apple unveiled a few new technologies at its Worldwide Developers Conference Monday. And it would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google.

The company also introduced its updated operating system for the Apple Watch.

Many found Amazon's Echo and Google's Home assistant creeped them out when they realised their voice interactions were being stored in the cloud.

The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released past year, were the first entrants in a promising market. It can also fetch scores, news, weather and traffic information.

The HomePod is powered by Apple's A8 chip and will be available from December in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the USA, which will be getting the initial batch of speakers in White and Space Grey at $349 (roughly Rs. 22,500).

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"It will reinvent home audio", said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Amazon has heavily dominated the field with its home speaker called Echo, which uses the digital assistant Alexa.

As another piece of news to be released later this year, Apple is expected to share more details about tvOS, which we are also excited about. Google, meanwhile, previewed new speaker features such as hands-free phone calling during its software conference last month.

Both speakers come with a built-in smart assistant. The gadget itself isn't particularly remarkable, but it is an Apple gadget. In other words, Sonos is now an Apple competitor.

The new iPad Pro also comes with a better camera - the same one found in the iPhone 7 - along with more storage, a better display and faster refreshing of moving images. Pulling music from the Apple library, the speaker was presented as being able to recognize its placement and direct rich audio sound into the room. The company will thus be reinventing the two, a marketing strategy, which will be accomplished through the device.

There's no word yet on support for third-party services, or ways for developers to adapt their services for HomePod.

  • Essie Rivera