Apple's New HomePod Smart Speaker Promises to Reinvent Home Audio

As for Apple's demonstration of the "augmented reality" capability coming to the updated iOS II, this fall, Munster was impressed.

If Apple unveils a rival to internet-connected speakers from Amazon and Google, it wouldn't be the first time that Apple hops on the bandwagon of a technology product popularized by a competitor.

John Knoll, of Industrial Light & Magic, speaks about virtual reality during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. The speaker is similar to cheaper devices from Amazon and Google.

We had known for a few weeks now that Apple was working on a smart speaker, informally called the Siri Speaker. With a seven-tweeter array and a four-inch subwoofer, the HomePod should deliver substantially better sound than Amazon or Google's equivalents. Making the most of it will require a subscription to Apple's own music streaming service, which runs $10 to $15 per month and has attracted 27 million subscribers so far. According to Cook, the HomePod is a "breakthrough home speaker that will reinvent home audio", with the focus firmly on giving both the Amazon Echo and Google Home a run for their money.

Much like Google Home, Apple's HomePod can also be paired up with another HomePod in the household. It contains numerous same capabilities of those assistant-equipped speakers, but adds one more thing: high quality audio.

The device syncs with Apple Music to provide a "deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes", which hopefully isn't as creepy as it sounds.

The lack of a breakthrough device has periodically raised concerns that Apple has become too dependent on the iPhone and supported the theory that the company lost its knack for innovation when its co-founder Steve Jobs died of cancer in 2011.

Apple's new macOS, High Sierra, was described as "fully baked" by Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, to lots of whoops and clapping.

Still, it has several similarities with the other home-assistant offerings.

Apple also revealed new safety systems for using iPhones within cars, featuring an enhanced "do not disturb" function. "Although Apple has done a great job of being extremely profitable without having to cater to the mainstream, and they will drop their price over time", he said.

The tech giant announced the updated iMacs would have new, faster processors as well as "43% brighter" displays. From there, you can set timers, ask for news headlines, or perform basic web searches. Users can also send text messages, as well as set reminders. It will not block the ads themselves, though. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops. These devices will only keep the most recent messages in local storage.

"I thought they would just be laying the ground work for the 3-D mapping chip", today, he says, referring to potential future custom silicon in Apple devices, perhaps in an iPhone 8.

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