Siri in your living room: Apple unveils $349 HomePod

Siri in your living room: Apple unveils $349 HomePod

Siri in your living room: Apple unveils $349 HomePod

The more powerful iMac is meant to address concerns of creative professionals who had been limited to much less powerful iMacs or the much-loved Mac Pro, which hasn't been updated since 2013.

Secondly, it suffers from the same compatibility issues as any other Apple product: it only plays Apple Music. Year-over-year, the number of USA consumers using voice-activated assistant devices is up 128.9%, according to eMarketer. It's a speaker - the gadget costs $350 and will be available in December - that will bring Apple Music and voice assistant Siri to your home. Siri on HomePod can also look for details such as who the music artists are behind a particular song on play.

There were also a couple of updates to Apple's web browser, Safari, including a speed boost that makes it, according to Apple, the fastest ever desktop browser.

How does it line up?

HomePod uses an Apple-designed upwards firing 102mm woofer and a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters. The size of the unit is 172 x 142 mm at a weight of 5.5 lbs.

Amazon just unveiled a version of Echo with a camera, touchscreen display and video-calling capabilities. Granted, the other two are much smaller in size than the HomePod and naturally would weigh less. The Google Home can tell different voices apart and ties in with the company's many helpful online services, like translation. There's no word yet on support for third-party services, or ways for developers to adapt their services for HomePod.

The Apple HomePod has an A8 chip along with a unique woof specially designed by the company.

Besides, the virtual assistant can be used for stuff other than music. Limp was quick to point out that you could get eight Echo Dots for the price of HomePod, and then connect the Echo Dots to any speaker with a line out connection or Bluetooth. Google's machine learning technology is only getting more advanced as time goes on, too.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Echo is the way it sounds and Apple is focused on making sure its HomePod is top of pops when it comes to sound.

However, it still lacks some features that Amazon and Google's products already have.

The introduction of a high-quality smart speaker from Apple puts some serious pressure on Sonos, an early leader in the connected speaker market.

Related news