Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

Posted June 11, 2017

Apple was nearly sheepish in mentioning that, yes, Siri on the HomePod can do most of the usual Siri things like make appointments, find sports scores, and send messages.

The hardware debut, a rarity at the annual developers conference that traditionally features software and only minor hardware updates, came as analysts and investors watch for signs of the world's largest publicly traded company's next blockbuster product a decade after the introduction of the iPhone.

Apple has thrown down the gauntlet to Google and Amazon by unveiling its Siri-powered HomePod intelligent speaker. You may get your hands on this for $349 which roughly translates to Rs 22,500. The company has integrated the Apple Music app into its HomePod device, indicating that it expects the device to also contribute to its Services business.

Interestingly, Apple also announced AirPlay 2 earlier today, which lets you pair multiple speakers and play music in multiple rooms.

Apple has not confirmed the price of the HomePod for the UK. If the Google Home looks like an air freshener, the HomePod looks a bit like a ball of yarn.

McIlwain said he expects Apple to add new categories at next week's bash, but not almost enough to match Alexa's number of skills.

Amazon and Google's existing speakers have proved popular with consumers since the Echo launched in the United Kingdom in 2016 and Home earlier this year. The device, called HomePod, will go toe-to-toe with existing competitors such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

It also said its new Mac High Sierra operating software offers new features for developers designing virtual reality games and experiences.

In addition, the speaker also includes a six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation for Siri voice control and home assistant functions, allowing users to ask questions and access podcasts, news, weather, traffic, sports, reminders, timers, messages, and more. The HomePod is the product of Apple wanting to create a device that's both a good speaker and a good smart speaker. Apple says HomePod is "spatially aware" and can respond as such. Will Apple exclusively market the HomePod to the United States like Amazon does their Alexa device, it looks that way.

Apple is also bringing Apple Pay which will help in paying someone back through its own payment service just like PayPal. I'm sure well learn more about the device in the coming months, but it seems like Apple is downplaying this announcement.