November 19 2017

Apple Introduces HomePod, a Siri-Equipped Smart Speaker

November 19 2017, 01:02 | Jodi Jackson

Roman Loyola Apple uses shadow effects in AR effectively to help give the impression that items are resting on a table

Roman Loyola
Apple uses shadow effects in AR effectively to help give the impression that items are resting on a table

There had been rumors abound over what would be included in iOS 11 and, for the most part, several proved to be correct.

As per usual, Apple dedicated a significant portion of its WWDC keynote to the new software features coming to the iPhone and iPad. It looks like Apple recycled a horde of Mac Pro cases lying around Cupertino and covered them in mesh to create this speaker.

Called "HomePod", the wireless speaker delivers unbelievable audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio. It will also work with Apple services such as Messages and its smart home appliance platform, HomeKit.

HomePod is a 7-inch speaker that has Apple's digital assistant built in.

Cook also praised the Apple developer community which has 16 million registered developers and added three million a year ago.

At the event, held in San Jose on Monday, Apple touted a new peer-to-peer payments service and announced a deal to bring Amazon video content to Apple TV after years of tension between the two companies. Let us know in the comments! You can also ask the speaker various questions including what's the weather, etc. Apple, since it is no longer just a U.S. company, has decided that it can not just ignore this feature on the iPhones and iPads.

"Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and is now more intelligent than ever with watchOS 4", said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.

Some involved incremental changes to hardware and software, while others provided a glimpse at where Apple believes the future of computing is headed.

Apple says that as many as 375 million devices use Siri every month.

Other new watchfaces include a kaleidoscope and new characters such as Woody, Jesse, and Buzz from the Toy Story movie franchise.

As the system-level integration for social accounts has been removed, iOS might allow users to log into the third-party apps using mobile Web on Safari, as pointed out in a report by The Verge. In one demo, Apple executive Craig Federighi pointed a camera at a table on stage and added a virtual coffee cup and a lamp on the real table. Intel's Kaby Lake processors are now included cross the range and faster SSDs are now added to the package.

Perhaps, the biggest change with iOS 11 is that it will get a bunch of completely exclusive features for the iPad Pro range of tablets, to take advantage of their larger screens and the push to enhance productivity tasks. There's a new iPad Pro announced as well, along with new iMacs and upgraded MacBook Pros.

Besides the new iPad Pro, Apple also introduced updated iMac desktops with the same design and improved internals.

The watchOS 4 operating system now offers more personalised workout goals using new Activity and Workout apps.

Many users, particularly those who classify themselves as professionals and thus in need of serious horsepower from their workstations, were disappointed by Apple's latest crop of Macbook Pros.

Siri got the ability to translate languages, something Google has provided through Google Translate since 2006.

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