November 19 2017

Apple HomePod vs. Amazon Echo: The similarities and differences, explained

November 19 2017, 06:48 | Clarence Walton

With Siri most widely used on iPhone, Apple risked missing out on the daily, at-home tasks consumers increasingly use Echo or Home for - reminders, calendars, music.

After years of delay, Amazon and Apple have finally reached an agreement to bring the Amazon Prime video app to Apple TV set-top-boxes everywhere.

And while it might seem like Apple's late to the party, they seem pretty confident they can reinvent the home music market the way they did the portable music market.

So, which smart home speaker should you buy-Amazon's, Google's, or Apple's?

If you want a smart speaker that's part of the Apple ecosystem, you're going to have to pay a bit more than you would for other speakers out there.

We were fortunate to experience the HomePod in action to hear the audio performance before it launches later in the year - and to sonically compare it to the Sonos Play3 and the Amazon Echo.

The HomePod is Apple's first new gadget in almost three years, following its announcement of the Apple Watch in September 2014. Created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod will be available starting in December, initially in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the US.

Some industry insiders, however, note Apple will be under more pressure to improve the computing smarts of its Siri software in the face of offerings from rivals Google and Amazon.

The insight into Cook's work with the United Kingdom government followed a reporter's question concerning the strength of Apple devices' privacy and security features.

But, just recently, Cook confirmed that Apple helped the United Kingdom following the terrorist threats that hit the country in the past month. Microsoft also has announced its own speaker with Samsung's Harman business; it will use Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant. Apple uses end-to-end encryption in the iPhone's standard iMessage app, which is something certain members of the United Kingdom government have been reluctant to accept.

The speaker is powered by Apple's A8 processor, powerful enough to control a device like the HomePod and process the information needed for it to be smart. The next iOS may also have new features designed for artificial intelligence, the application of computers that learn and understand things like humans.

The announcement was made at the tech giant's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California.

Apple's Safari browser will soon be able to stop videos from auto-playing.

A different reality: Apple is trying to make augmented reality a reality with new tools for iPhones and iPads.

In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including Smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added past year.

Apple broke tradition to announce a new device instead of sticking to just software at WWDC 2017.

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