Apple takes on Alexa and Google with HomePod

Posted June 10, 2017

The Apple-designed A8 chip "provides the brains" behind the voice-activated speaker, which follows the releases of the already popular Amazing Echo and Google Home devices.

Billed as a "breakthrough home speaker", the HomePod is attempting to differentiate itself as a premium smart speaker as opposed to current products that are generally either a premium speaker (Sonos) or smart (Echo), but not both. "We listened. Amazon Prime Video is coming to the TV App and all Apple TVs this year".

"As the iPhone reaches a point of near saturation in mature markets and replacement rates continue to slow, Apple must find new ways to lock in users".

Thus, HomePod makes it possible to control all HomeKit Devices remotely, using the Home app on any iOS compatible device.

The HomePod is designed specifically with Apple Music in mind, so it can offer you suggestions based on your music tastes to help you discover new artists.

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Very much a device for consumer use, the HomePod is potentially an interesting prospect for software and online service developers, who are likely to be presented with another smart home device on which they could create apps for or more likely integrate their existing apps with.

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference is now well under way, and one of the biggest announcements isn't the usual software offering.

Over the past couple of years, machine learning technologies have become increasingly more accessible through various Web infrastructures, but today Apple made it clear it wanted to join the pack.

The note pointed to three of the biggest announcements at the conference that might lead to future gains for the company: augmented reality, a redesigned app store, and the new HomePod smart speaker.

Apple has elevated Siri from the phone to the home with the launch of its new HomePod smart speaker, unveiled at WWDC 2017. Publishers like The New York Times and Bloomberg develop for the home speakers, appliances interact with them through voice controls, and consumers can shop through them. This was not a particular focus of either the existing Google or Amazon systems, and Apple clearly feels it can make it a unique proposition with this emphasis. Apple packed in a ton of power performance into a tiny seven-inch (6.8 if we're being nitpicky) speaker.

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HomePod will be available starting in December, initially in Australia, Britain and the US. Amazon, for example, sold more than 11 million Echo devices from mid-2015 to December 1, 2016, according to estimates from Morgan Stanley analysts, who calculated statistics from before the latest holiday season.

When will Apple release HomePod?

The HomePod is Apple's first new gadget in almost three years, following its announcement of the Apple Watch in September 2014. Apple's entry into the market could change that.

But the best new addition for people using the iPad in a professional setting may be the operating system's new feature that allows users to mark up virtually documents that they can access on their iPads using the Apple Pencil. For instance, the iPhone, is one of the most expensive smartphones, yet Apple sells it tens of millions every year. For example, the tech giant unveiled iOS 11, which has some pretty neat features - users will now be able to "drag and drop" text and other items between apps.

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