Apple launches the HomePod, a Siri-powered wireless speaker

Here's how Apple is making iMessage take on Facebook Messenger bots

Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple's HomePod speaker will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes.

Analysts said the smart home speaker market is ripe for Apple.

The speaker, while expected by some industry watchers, marked Apple's first new product announcement since the Apple Watch in September 2014.

It's hard to say how much hype will accompany the physical arrival of the HomePod, but there's a long history of shoppers going to extreme lengths to buy new Apple devices the moment they're available. Some Apple fans also paid more than double the retail price on eBay for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus a few seasons ago rather than wait a few weeks for them to be back in stock in stores.

REUTERS/Stephen LamPhotographers take a close look at the Apple HomePod which the company unveiled at the WWDC 2017 in California. It clearly costs more than the other brands but Apple is confident that the product and its state-of-the-art features will justify its price. (Many reviewers have suggested that the current incarnation of Apple's assistant already trails competitors in key respects.) "This is the start of the AI wars", he said. If users could ask Alexa to conduct shopping searches for them and show options through Fire TV, the TV would serve as a good visual addition to the smart assistant. "And so we don't let that impatience result in shipping something that's just not great".

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.1 HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.

It is created to work with the Apple Music subscription service and can produce rich sound while tapping into the artificial intelligence power of Siri.

Siri can do those things, too, but Apple's pitch for Siri-powered HomePod is instead focused heavily on music - the company appears to bank on consumers paying for smart speakers that deliver high-quality audio sound as a sort of gateway into the world of smart home assistants. The presentation focused on how strong the performance of the speaker is, with the smart assistant features presented nearly as an afterthought.

"We want powerful machine learning to be easier to use in your apps", software chief Craig Federighi said as he unveiled a toolkit that allows developers to use Apple's AI technology.

Apple also introduced a new version of its business-oriented iPad Pro at an intermediate size with more storage, a better display and an improved camera. With HomePod, only after "Hey Siri" is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier. Cook has always been bullish about the prospects for augmented reality, and Apple is working on smart glasses, people familiar with the plans have said. Last year's confab saw Siri opened up to third-party developers for the first time.

Limp said Amazon would be willing to work alongside partners like Apple or Google to ensure their competing virtual assistants would be compatible.

The event started with Apple CEO welcoming the audience, praising the Apple developer community which already has 16 million registered developers and added three million previous year.

Related News:

  • Ten people remain in critical condition after London Bridge attack: Health Authority

    She said a woman was stabbed right in front of them, and two of his friends managed to run away, losing him in the commotion. Two unarmed police officers have been hailed as heroes for their bravery in taking on the London Bridge terrorists .

    Federal Contractor Charged With Leaking Classified Documents, Reportedly to The Intercept

    Victor is a contractor with Pluribus International Corporation assigned to a US government agency facility in Georgia. The May 5 NSA report details a 2016 Russian military cyberattack on a United States voting software supplier.
    New poll shows possible defeat for Theresa May

    New poll shows possible defeat for Theresa May

    The headline figures certainly stand out given previous assumptions and polling data pointing to the Conservatives securing a majority.
  • Trump Team Stands by Budget's $2 Trillion Math Error

    Trump Team Stands by Budget's $2 Trillion Math Error

    Meanwhile, it calls for cutting over $800 billion from Medicaid , the federal health program for the poor , over the next decade. The New York Times analyzed Trump's budget , and found it targets programs that tend to spend more on women than men.

    Ariana, others perform in Manchester as tribute to attack victims

    Grande performed throughout the show, even collaborating with others onstage. Twenty-two people were killed and dozens more injured in the incident.

    Question Time: Leaders Special

    The audience were very vocal when Ms Rudd asked voters to "judge (the Conservatives) on our record". "Don't give her yours".
  • ECB leaves policy unchanged, drops reference to 'lower rates'

    ECB leaves policy unchanged, drops reference to 'lower rates'

    The ECB's refinancing rate remains 0%, while the rate paid on deposits left overnight at the central bank was held at minus 0.4%. Inflation was expected to hit 1.7 per cent this year, 1.6 per cent in 2018, and 1.7 per cent in 2019.

    Arab powers add people, groups with Qatar links to terrorism lists

    Turkey's parliament, on the other hand, has approved sending troops to an existing Turkish base in Qatar as a sign of support. The four governments also closed their airspaces to all Qatari flights and banned Qatar-based news giant Al Jazeera.
    Austin joins SA in lawsuit to sanctuary cities ban

    Austin joins SA in lawsuit to sanctuary cities ban

    Shortly after its signing, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued a travel warning for the state of Texas. So far, El Paso, San Antonio and Austin are all suing the state - even the small border town of El Cenizo .
  • To US diplomat in China quits over Trump's climate policy

    David Rank , a 27-year veteran of the State Department, has been running the embassy in Beijing as chargé d'affairs since January. Arnold Chacon had served as the director general of the foreign service and director of human resources.

    Tiger Woods: What happened and what next on and off the course

    It left players on the PGA Tour hopeful for better times, and not just on the golf course. "I feel bad for Tiger", Nicklaus said. Woods' current sponsors - including Nike, Bridgestone and Monster Energy - did not immediately comment on Tuesday.
    Then there were 4: Fifth Harmony releases first track minus Camila Cabello

    Then there were 4: Fifth Harmony releases first track minus Camila Cabello

    Especially as a songwriter. "You'll hear our growth and maturity reflected in the music we're creating". The group is now in the studio working on their highly-anticipated third album.


Most liked

Rafa Nadal v Dominic Thiem - player profiles
Open final a year ago , but the Czech player had never been past the second round at Roland Garros in five previous appearances. Svitolina won the first set 6-3 and raced into a 5-1 lead in the second before Halep bounced back and took the second 7-6 (6).

Child found in Illinois garage may have been killed in 2013
The two daughters had a "significant amount of scars and bruises on their bodies", Spencer said in an interview Thursday. Real estate records obtained by The Associated Press show Quate lived in the Belleville home that was being examined.

Church bus crashes in Atlanta area; 1 killed, others injured
The church members were on their way to Botswana, where they were going to do mission work helping with a Vacation Bible School. They are taking calls from the people on the bus to find out more about who is injured.

Chinese president Xi, California governor pledge action on climate change
The pair met soon after the top USA diplomat in China resigned, allegedly in protest of Trump's Paris decision. Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement signaled that the US has abdicated its role as world leader.

Jose Mourinho Keen To Swap De Gea For Alvaro Morata
Chelsea divided between Lukaku & Morata. " Milan? No, I certainly won't be in Italy", he told Mediaset Premium . Manchester United have had a €60m bid for Alvaro Morata knocked back by Real Madrid , according to Sky Italia .

Preds even Stanley Cup Final at 2-2, beat Penguins 4-1
Now they head to Pittsburgh needing to find a way to win in the home ice of the defending champions after dropping Games 1 and 2. The Preds got on the board, with Calle Jarnkrok getting the best of Pittsburgh goalkeeper Matthew Murray in the first period.

$3.8 billion Dakota Access oil pipeline begins service
The Standing Rock Sioux tribe had also asked protesters to leave, saying the fight over the pipeline belongs in court. Law enforcement and pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners say safety was the top priority.

Rates on hold despite slowing economy
Projections for tomorrow's first quarter GDP report are for a 0.2% quarter-on-quarter growth. Economists had forecast there would be a 0.4 percentage point detraction.

Baltimore Ravens sign two cornerbacks, release Kyle Arrington
He signed with the Carolina Panthers during free agency in 2016 but was cut about two months later and joined the Bears. The Bears signed him to a one-year contract last spring, but the injury landed him on injured reserve in August.

Labour closing gap in opinion polls after 'wobbly week' for Tories
Corbyn was challenged about his attitude towards the nuclear deterrent and May was asked about her plans for a post-Brexit deal with Europe.

Girl, 8, Banned From Soccer Game For Looking Like Boy
She told the local NBC affiliate, "When my hair starts to grow I cut it short because I've always had short hair". By Monday she was back to dribbling a soccer ball and obsessing about her favorite team, Guadalajara's Chivas.

Athletic Bilbao announce Barcelona target Ernesto Valverde will leave the club
The move follows weeks of speculation which heavily tipped the 53-year-old as Barca's preferred successor to Luis Enrique . Valverde played for the Blaugrana from 1988 to 1990 and won a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and a Copa del Rey with the club.

UK Police Declare London Bridge, Borough Market Incidents as Terrorism
Witnesses have described seeing a speeding vehicle veer into crowds on London Bridge and people being stabbed in Borough Market . The force initially said officers were also responding to a reported third incident, in the Vauxhall area of London .

Ariana Grande planning benefit concert in Manchester
Britain's terror threat assessment has been raised to "critical", the highest level, meaning an attack is considered imminent. Associated Press writer Jill Lawless reported this story from London and AP writer Mstyslav Chernov reported in Manchester.

Nintendo Switch Online Details Announced
The app can be used to chat with your other Switch-owning friends, invite them to play a game online, and set "play appointments". Initially, the company mentioned that subscribers could play a classic NES or SNES title for only one month.