Apple may announce Siri Smart Speaker during Keynote Address

Apple may announce Siri Smart Speaker during Keynote Address

Apple may announce Siri Smart Speaker during Keynote Address

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

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.* HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11. Apple's high privacy standards and tough encryption have been criticized by law enforcement officials and the company clashed previous year in court with the Federal Bureau of Investigation over the issue.

Apple's next operating system is called High Sierra, and will be a free update to the current Sierra system. There are also several updates coming to iMessage, including the ability to send money to friends (like you can with Venmo or Square Cash) and an app drawer to keep all those new iMessage apps introduced a year ago nice and tidy.

On the software front, RBC Capital analyst Amit Daryanani expects the iOS 11 — the next operating system for Apple's iPhones and iPads — to get an overhaul that will accommodate the anticipated removal of the home button from the 10th anniversary model of the iPhone due out later this year. Apple also laid some groundwork for augmented reality, the projection of digital features onto real-world surroundings, by giving app developers tools for incorporating AR into their products. They include a faster MacBook and MacBook Pro and a new 13-inch MacBook Pro for $1,300.

Siri got the ability to translate languages, something Google has provided through Google Translate since 2006. You can tap a Siri icon in the top left corner to access the assistant directly from the watch face as well.

While Apple may unveil the next version of iOS - the iPhone and iPad operating system - this week, it's doubtful we'll hear anything about the tenth anniversary iPhone until the Fall.

Apple is introducing a number of effects into the Live Photos feature.

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It's also adding a feature to block notifications while the phone is in Car Play. It can now predict what news stories you might want to read, and can respond to a text message asking "Where are you?" with an estimation of when you will arrive at a given location.

It wouldn't be the first time that Apple hopped on the bandwagon of a technology product popularized by a competitor. The store's 500 million weekly users will see new tabs highlighting curated collections and article-like stories made by Apple, not just developers.

SiriKit also has more capabilities in iOS11, including easy integrations with apps for task management, banking, and others.

For a considerable period, Amazon was the clear leader when it comes to the world of speakers-as-digital-assistants.

A survey released last month by research firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the United States market, compared with 23.8 percent for Google Home.

Some experts pushed back on the notion that Apple is behind in the AI race, saying Siri is not the only AI-driven technology built by Apple. Both Amazon Echo and Google Home proved to be commercial successes.

As the rumors foretold, it seems that Apple and Amazon have buried the hatchet.

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