November 19 2017

Apple Launches HomePod-A Smart Speaker for Homes

November 19 2017, 07:00 | Geraldine Moore

Apple Launches HomePod-A Smart Speaker for Homes

WWDC 2017: Apple Just Launched A TON of New Products

The Echo allows you to request an Uber, order pizza and track fitness with compatible apps. With HomePod, not so much. Apple expects to launch the HomePod in December.

Apple will let people play audio in multiple rooms while Google works on introducing that feature to all speakers that have Chromecast built in.

In a nod to Amazon streaming fans, Apple is also bringing Amazon Prime to its Apple TV app. You'll generally be able to do the same stuff you'd do with Siri now on your phone, but via a home speaker.

HomePod is Apple's first major new hardware product since the Apple Watch's release in 2015, and it comes at an important time for the company.

In terms of artificial intelligence, Siri is meant to be much more than a "voice thing" it is a platform that can smartly connect user's devices to better anticipate what a user wants and when it wants it, Lee suggested. What about Amazon's Echo then? You're a Pandora devotee? It uses Siri to learn your taste based on your previous choices to stream the songs that you like. Under the hood, it is powered by company's A8 chipset and on the top appears the Siri waveform with integrated touch controls. Yep, similarly to Apple Music and News the App Store is going big on curation so that it'll be easier than ever to find apps that you'll use a couple of times.

More importantly, High Sierra will see the implementation of Apple File System (APFS). Want access to your calendar? It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops.

I think HomePod will appeal to people who are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem.

Apple HomePod is created to analyze a room's acoustics, adjust the sound based on location and point the music in the optimal direction.

Moreover, this HomePod is more expensive as compared to Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Probably the biggest question surrounding the HomePod is its support for third-party apps and services.

Amazon's Echo isn't officially available in SA either (it's already available elsewhere though), but carries a US$180 price tag. But it's not clear if it will. Apple's is also said to be working on further optimising Siri to help you with podcasts, messages, weather, traffic, sports, and alarms. The company unveiled a number of new products including Home Pod, its smart speaker.

"HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a lovely speaker that is less than seven inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion-free music and be a helpful assistant around your home", Shiller said.

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