Apple Introduces Echo Rival Home Pod And More At WWDC17


It unveiled HomePod, a new 7-inch tall speaker for playing music, checking the news and controlling other connected devices in the home.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Apple is hoping a new smart home speaker will strike a chord with music lovers — the latest test of the iPhone maker's ability to redefine markets originally staked out by its rivals.

Apple introduces HomePod during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose.

As CNet points out, this also means that Apple's HomeKit software now has its own standalone device, meaning that it could attract Android users and others who previously did not want to use Siri through an iPhone or iPad.

The company's TV app is also adding Amazon and its Prime Video service later this year for the first time.

And of course, being Siri-powered, it does do more than just music.

Apple has entered the intelligent speaker market with the announcement of its premium-priced HomePod. Amazon has heavily dominated the field with its home speaker called Echo, which uses the digital assistant Alexa.

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The HomePod will cost about $466 and ship out in December.

Siri's integration also turns the HomePod into a voice-controlled personal assistant.

Apple boss Tim Cook said the event was "the best and biggest WWDC ever".

The move is the first into a completely new area by Apple for more than two years as the world's most valuable technology company looks to make up for a dip in iPhone sales and new ways to get customers to use more of its money-making apps and services. Apple Music now has 27 million subscribers, Schiller said, with the aim being to provide subscribers with the best home audio experience possible.

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. Introduced at Apple's WWDC 2017 conference, the 178mm tall speaker is created to work with an Apple Music subscription, and will go head to head with Amazon's Alexa ecosystem and Google Home this December. It's also what Microsoft is targeting with the Surface Pro; a new model comes out on June 15.

Following in Google's footsteps, Siri will also be able to translate and speak phrases from six languages, with more coming later, Apple said.

The new iPad Pro will have a 10.5-inch screen, placing it between the current 9.7 and 13-inch screens of Apple's flagship tablet.