Apple Joins Smart-Speaker Race With Music-Focused 'HomePod'
Jun 10, 2017, 17:01
Apple will start selling the HomePod this December for $349, competing with devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo.
The company will also introduce a new safety feature for drivers that hides incoming messages, and automatically sends a reply text to those messaging them noting that the Apple user is behind the wheel.
New iMacs are getting brighter displays and graphics capabilities.
On the software front, RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani expects the iOS 11 - the next operating system for Apple's iPhones and iPads - to get an overhaul that will accommodate the anticipated removal of the home button from the 10th anniversary model of the iPhone due out later this year.
Virtual reality is also coming to Apple's Mac computers. The integration with Siri just makes sense although, as it was pointed out by many spectators, the naming of the HomePod was a little bit underwhelming. The HomePod is created to work along with Apple Music, so it essentially requires one to have a subscription to music streaming service, which will give access to over 40 million songs. But neither can quite give you the experience promised by the (pricey) combination of a HomePod and Apple Music subscription.
The announcements follow complaints that Apple has let its Mac computers languish in favor of its better-selling products, namely the iPhone.
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.
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USA tech giant Apple revealed its latest gadget range on Monday, with the company launching the HomePod speaker in an effort to compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Software updates are also expected for Apple's smartwatch and TV box for streaming online video.
More than 20 million people subscribe to Apple Music at a cost of $9.99 to $14.99 per month.
"The fact that Apple is claiming to marry really great and smart audio with a smart assistant and cloud music service makes this device unique in the market so far". Google and Alexa can both do things like search the web, provide weather updates and play music for a lot less money, but the sound quality on these units leave a lot to be desired.
In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added previous year.
It's the first time in 15 years that Apple has held its conference in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley.
Apple's annual event, WWDC 2017, has kicked off yesterday.
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