Apple to take on Amazon and Google with its new HomePod

Posted June 07, 2017

Apple's newest product is called HomePod, which the company says will "reinvent music in the home".

Apple also announced the next version of its mobile operating system - iOS 11 - which will include a new setting for people who use their iPhone in the vehicle.

It's a been a long road for Apple TV customers who like to watch Amazon Video. These giants are battling over still-emerging fields that are expected to turn into technological gold mines, much the way personal computers and smartphones became moneymaking machines in previous decades. With this new device, Apple's overall message is clear - Apple HomePod is here to take on Amazon Echo and Google Home. But instead of focusing on the AI voice assistant capabilities, Apple has made a decision to market the speaker as a music-first product.

Created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to more than 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes, and helps users discover new music.

This is when Apple traditionally gives everyone a sneak peak at the next operating systems for iPads, iPhones and Macs. The HomePod is expected to sell for $349 and be available in December in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.

Apple has announced it will be going the home AI unit arms race against Google and Amazon with the launch of its HomePod later in the year.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Schiller, in a press release. It starts shipping in the US, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Look for some iPad Pro specific updates, like expanded Apple stylus powers that would allow doodling and annotating in more apps.

And Apple Watch is bringing Siri front and centre.

"It put Apple TV at a big disadvantage", said Alan Wolk, lead analyst for TV industry publication TVEV.

The Google Home, it could be argued, is in many ways the superior product to the Echo. The company also says that it will be more sensitive to the context of a user's question or information.

Apple also paired up a second HomePod for true stereo separation and the sound there was, er, twice as good.

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.

Apple had plenty of other announcements. "Today iMac gets a huge graphics performance increase, faster CPU performance, Thunderbolt 3 and a brighter Retina display with support for 1 billion colours".

Safari, Apple's web browser, is getting new features aimed at online annoyances.

Setup is reportedly easy ... you just hold an iPhone next to the HomePod and the speaker is ready to start playing music. It will not block the ads themselves, though.

Apple is rumored to be working on a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, with a screen that inches even closer to the edges of the device. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops. It comes in white and space gray. Developers will keep an eye out for hints about new capabilities in the next iPhone, such as so-called augmented reality, in which digital information is overlaid on real-world images. The move means that people can now transfer money to one another using Apple Pay. So far, the service has limited payments to purchases of products and services from companies and other organizations.