Hey Siri, beat Amazon, Google and Sonos: Apple debuts HomePod

Hey Siri, beat Amazon, Google and Sonos: Apple debuts HomePod

Hey Siri, beat Amazon, Google and Sonos: Apple debuts HomePod

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.1 HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.

Apple in other communities told about the hidden indications that they are going to perform on the hardware features in the new iPhones later this year. On its website, Apple describes it simply as getting an immersive listening experience no matter where HomePod is placed.

"What we tried to do is build something that is a breakthrough speaker first", said Cook. Integrated Siri capabilities allow the speaker to act as a "musicologist" with Apple Music, which can be streamed directly to the HomePod without requiring an intermediate iOS device. The Amazon Echo Dot is $49.99, the Echo is $179.99, and the Echo Show is $229.99. Other than music, the device also works for setting reminders, schedules and weather updates.

The HomePod uses spacial awareness to detect obstacles that are around it, such as walls. It also houses Siri based technology. However, Siri has been slow to improve its voice-recognition technology and set of responses, especially compared with the more capable Alexa and Google Assistant.

But it's more than just a loud wireless speaker. HomePod is a direct jab at Amazon's Echo and others like it.

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It can easily be argued that the market is saturated with speakers pushing themselves as great voice-activated assistants. Apple is depending on spatial awareness to achieve its goal of reinventing home music, although it's pretty hard to imagine anyone would shell out $349 for a smart speaker. Over time, consumers may not be as attracted to the sound quality offered by Amazon's Echo.

Amazon has made incredible progress with building up an ecosystem of third-party Skills, which has helped cement Echo as one of the dominant smart home hubs now available.

"It'll sound right to lots of people", says Wired's David Pierce.

Of course, premium pricing is Apple's typical strategy, and the company attempts to justify this premium by saying that the combined cost of a Wi-Fi speaker and a smart speaker can easily run $400 to $700. Apple knows that too.

In fact, it's audio that the company has been focusing on instead of all that extra Siri stuff. Those rumors were confirmed today as Apple unveiled HomePod at WWDC 2017. From the opening of the video when someone says off camera, " Hey Siri, play my favorites", to the end, we hear music as the camera gives us a look around the device.

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The research firm IDC says Apple and Xiaomi each has a worldwide market share of almost 15 percent in the first quarter.

The only way to interact with HomePod directly is to use Siri.

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Apple-designed upward-facing woofer, paired with the custom A8 chip. It also enables the speaker to produces the deepest, most cleanest bass possible, and virtually no distortion. According the company, "this provides well-balance smooth timbre as well as precise directional control of a multitude of beam shapes and sizes". It comes with seven tweeters on the inside, and 6 microphones that allow the users to talk to it.

Although it was first smartphone maker to come out with a digital assistant when Siri debuted in 2011, it hasn't had a stand-alone assistant. That does not mean the company won't get there with later editions. Now that Apple has made its announcement, however, Microsoft may change its price structure depending on how it views the HomePod in relation to its own premium audio offering.

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