Apple introduces smart compact music speaker

Postado Junho 11, 2017

The arrival of Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV signals another thing altogether - that Apple and Amazon may have finally settled some of their differences.

The HomePod (snigger) is Apple's answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home, but the firm also has the likes of Sonos in its sights with what it claims is a "breakthrough home speaker".

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", says Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Activated by voice with Apple's natural language user interface Siri, it will have access to Apple Music, a music-streaming service. Interestingly, Apple's smart speaker doesn't only respond to your voice but also to your touch.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has stressed the importance of Apple's services business, predicting it will double in size by 2021. The HomePod is planned to launch in December for United States dollars 349 in the US, UK and Australia.

The HomePod will be priced at $349, more expensive than Amazon's $180 Echo or $50 Dot and Google's $129 Home. The research firm eMarketer says than 35 million people in the US are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than double its estimate from last year. Starting in the fall, Apple Watch compatible equipment will start coming to gyms from companies like Cybex, Schwinn and Matrix. The seven-inch speaker is wrapped with a very shiny mesh material, which creates a virtual surround sound throughout a home. That's a new focus for Apple as it competes with Google and Amazon.

Tapping Apple's Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. That is about to change, however, when the Homepod is set to hit the market in December.

The announcements follow complaints that Apple has let its Mac computers languish in favor of its better-selling products, namely the iPhone.

Siri is getting a new voice, and the Mac is getting a new name.

"We want to reinvent music in the home in the way we invented mobile music, ' said Mr Cook, "we really think its going to take your home music experience to the next level". It will allow users to automatically block auto-play videos by detecting videos that shouldn't be playing when you open a webpage to read an article, for example.

The company was expected to introduce iOS 11, the next version of the software that powers the iPhone and iPad. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops.

The technology, a feature of the wildly successfully smartphone game Pokemon Go, overlays digital information on real-world images and is seen as an area in which the keenly awaited 10th-anniversary iPhone can stand out from competitors. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.