Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

Jun 08, 2017, 01:45
Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

EMarketer estimates 35.6 million Americans will use voice-enabled speakers such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home at least once a month, an increase of 129 percent over past year.

Kevin Lynch, VP of Technology at Apple, speaks near a projection of an Apple Watch during the company's annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California, U.S. June 5, 2017.

One was a new US$349 smart "HomePod" home speaker to 'reinvent ' home audio, which will be available in the United Kingdom and in the USA in December.

Apple is officially jumping into the home speaker market.

As per the survey, in the previous month by analysis firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6% of the USA market, compared with 23.8% for Google Home.

Apple lost ground to Spotify in the early days of music streaming, and its home speaker is meant to be a booster rocket for Apple Music. Apple says that the speaker can adapt to the environment in which it is placed, playing music in all directions when placed in the center of a room while directing sound to the away from walls if placed in a corner. Apple has the advantage of using advanced automatic room-sensing technology that allows HomePod to quickly learn its position in a room, whether it's in a corner, on a table or in a bookshelf. Users can also ask the HomePod to read them the latest news, play podcasts, set reminders.

Apple has elevated Siri from the phone to the home with the launch of its new HomePod smart speaker, unveiled at WWDC 2017.

Apple will begin shipping the HomePod to the United States, Britain and Australia in December.

"Apple's base should like it, because they are committed to the ecosystem", Enderle said of HomePod.

The "HomePod" speaker unveiled Monday is similar to devices from rivals, some of which have been on the market for years. 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.

All the early reviews highlight that the HomePod produces vastly superior sound quality compared to its smart speaker competitors.

HomePod is also integrated with Apple Music, the company's streaming subscription service with around 40 million songs.

A cynical view would be that this was to justify a high price tag but, after listening to the speaker in action, the comparison seems justified. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smarthphones, he said.

What powers the HomePod speakers?

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.

An updated file management system should make changing directories much safer and faster.

A new iMac Pro is on the way too.

iOS 11 features a swag of iPad only features, including a new Files app, a new dock, and new drag-and-drop features to enable better multitasking and sharing between apps.

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