Apple unveils 'HomePod' speaker, first new product in years

It's right there in the name. Things like making smart assistants smarter and digital speakers more accurate require a lot of hard engineering work that few people can really appreciate. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the device.

Apple Inc. has arguably perfected the art of the up-sell.

The first two of those go hand in hand.

Finally, Amazon Prime Video will be available on Apple TV later this year. They aren't necessarily attractive (though the Home can look oddly cute, like a baby speaker that's yet to finish growing), but they're mostly ignorable.

The Google Home, it could be argued, is in many ways the superior product to the Echo. The company "can't afford to yield valuable real-estate in the heart of people's homes to Amazon, Google and others", said Geoff Blaber, research analyst at CCS Insight. Both speakers can respond to voice requests for the news, weather and tasks such as turning on the lights.

Technically speaking, the Apple HomePod is a wireless speaker which is capable of using spatial awareness and sense where it is located in the room, and automatically adjust audio output accordingly. Apple aimed to reassure its audience by saying HomePod won't listen until the user triggers it with "Hey Siri".

At $350, putting a HomePod in multiple rooms of your house isn't a very appealing prospect.

Siri will also speak (a little) more naturally in female and male voices, and use some sort of machine learning to suggest apps that you may want to use. The Echo is a utility, created to be ignored. If the Mac Pro was a speaker, it would be the HomePod.

British Authorities Under Scrutiny as 2 London Bridge Attackers Named
A property in Ilford, east London , was also searched by police at around 01:30 BST, but no arrests had been made, the Met said . As Khan spoke, police named two of the three attackers as Khuram Shazad Butt and Rachid Redouane .

Angela Merkel says Europe 'must take fate into its own hands'
The point, he said, was that airing such differences in an honest manner is necessary to maintain the trans-Atlantic alliance. But Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said that his boss had not meant to start a wave of Trump-bashing.

Tamil outfit stages protest against Rajinikanth's entry into politics
Again, a question arises why would a mega star join the BJP , which has limited appeal and marginal presence in Tamil Nadu. Addressing his fans Rajinikanth had stated, "You all gave me love, respect and fame".

But it's also not the complete story for the HomePod. There's a decent chance a huge number of people will have a smart speaker in their home within the next decade.

Siri can do those things, too, but Apple's pitch for Siri-powered HomePod is instead focused heavily on music - the company appears to bank on consumers paying for smart speakers that deliver high-quality audio sound as a sort of gateway into the world of smart home assistants. While it might have a small footprint, Apple made the most of its interior by cramming in an array of seven tweeters, that offers directional control of the audio. It did expand Siri's functionality slightly, but those features were limited to iPhones and iPads.

In a blog post Technalysis Research founder Bob O'Donnell depicted Apple's latest product news as an affirmation that the company has not fallen behind competitors and is working to take advantage of potentially exciting new technologies.

Australia will be one of the first countries to receive the rollout of HomePod units, which will be available in December 2017. It allows for more flexibility (four different kinds of inflection were demonstrated on stage), and, as the technology advances, it will sound exactly like a human anyway. Shipments of intelligent home speakers surged almost 600 per cent year-over-year to 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter, with Amazon taking about 88 per cent share and Google 10 percent, according to consultant Strategy Analytics.

But while Apple's device can claim, in this test at least, to sound the best - that may not be enough to make the product a success.

But the smart speaker market is still nascent.

Cool tech but ProMotion is a awful name. Apple has always shot for the higher end of the market, while Google and Amazon have always shot for mass adoption.

Related News:

  • Jutanugarn takes No. 1 spot; Creamer, Kim lead in New Jersey

    Jutanugarn takes No. 1 spot; Creamer, Kim lead in New Jersey

    With Ryu's streak ended, Stacy Lewis becomes the tour's active leader in consecutive cuts made, with 49, including this event. Nordqvist carded an even par 71 and said she'd be aggressive on Sunday in seeking a third-straight title.
    Lingmerth, Dufner share Memorial lead as Spieth chases, Johnson falters

    Lingmerth, Dufner share Memorial lead as Spieth chases, Johnson falters

    Despite shooting an underwhelming two-over on the front, Watson responded with a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie sequence on hole Nos. Defending champion William McGirt followed rounds of 71 and 72 with a 70 which leaves him on three under, 10 shots off the pace.

    Men probing Ivanka Trump supplier in China arrested, missing

    AP reported that the three men had already documented excessive overtime and a below minimum wage at the Chinese company. This isn't the first time Trump's name has been associated with some questionable business dealings in China.
  • Showers, thunderstorms sticking around for much of the week

    Showers, thunderstorms sticking around for much of the week

    Otherwise, partly cloudy and warm with high temperatures near 78 degrees and winds from the north at 5 to 15 miles per hour . Continued chance of showers and thunderstorms, about 30 percent, in the evening with a low around 67.
    Serena's back at a Slam! OK, sort of; she watched Venus win

    Serena's back at a Slam! OK, sort of; she watched Venus win

    During an interview with Eurosport Wednesday (via Us Weekly ), Venus Williams said Serena Williams is having a girl . Now age 33, she was runner-up here in 2010, and semi-finalist for the third time previous year .

    James, Cavs KO Celts, set up rematch vs. Warriors

    This team strikes the flawless balance between superstars and players who excel at the role they're asked to fulfill. There was nearly too much historical context to dissect, and so James did what his instincts told him to do.
  • Osinbajo Speaks On The Ceding of Bakassi To Cameroon

    Osinbajo Speaks On The Ceding of Bakassi To Cameroon

    If we are one small conclave, nobody will look at us with the seriousness that they look at us today". He reiterated the fact that the country was better together than apart.
    Two Tri-State spellers eliminated from Scripps National Spelling Bee

    Two Tri-State spellers eliminated from Scripps National Spelling Bee

    Daniel Doudna, 13, of Fairbanks, Alaska, said it was "amazing" to be the third child in his family to attend the national Bee. The Omaha girl must now wait until all 291 spellers finish the preliminaries to learn whether she moves on.
    June PlayStation Plus Free Games Lineup Revealed

    June PlayStation Plus Free Games Lineup Revealed

    In less than two weeks, E3 2017 will descend upon Los Angeles, and the time for rumors and speculation will come to an end. Sony will officially announce the June 2017 PS+ titles on Wednesday, May 31, ahead of them going live on Tuesday, June 6.
  • Donald Trump pushes Gulf unity in call with Saudi king

    On the day of the isolation from Qatar's neighboring countries and others, its main stock exchange dropped as much as 8 percent. Saudi Arabia's central bank advised banks in the kingdom not to trade with Qatari banks in Qatari riyals, banking sources said.

    WWE Extreme Rules 2017 Match Predictions

    Maybe we'll get the start of a month's-long transition into WWE's version of "Broken Matt Hardy" and "Brother Nero". Two weeks later, Cesaro and Sheamus won a tag team match between several teams to become the number one contenders.

    Cleveland fires 1 officer, suspends 2nd in Rice shooting

    After that, Williams ordered a committee to determine if the officers violated department rules. Along with the suspension, Garmback will be required to attend additional tactical training.


Most liked

Radeon Pro 500 Series for iMac: Powerful Performance for Breathtaking 5K Computing
Perhaps unexpectedly, the next most exciting unit on display was the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, running iOS 11. It is also worth noting that the AiO desktop would support up to 128GB of ECC memory.

Critics say Trump tweets may undercut legal case
If the Supreme Court agrees to take up the government's appeal, it will be the task of Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Fox has not said whether he supports the travel ban as good immigration or national security policy.

Apple Announces watchOS 4 for Apple Watch with Siri Smart Watchface, More
Apple also added a new blinking light, which you can activate via Control Centre, so that your night runs can be a bit safer. You will also be able to chose a playlist that automatically stats playing as soon as you start sweating it out in the gym.

Wonder Woman rules Box Office
With great reviews and great ticket sales, Wonder Woman seems to have easily passed the test that Hollywood set before it. The film's early foreign gross through Friday is $47.1 million from 55 markets, including $11.7 million from China.

Donaldson 2 HRs, Blue Jays beat Yankees 7-5; Judge hits 18th
Donaldson restored some of the cushion with his second homer, off reliever Jonathan Holder in the bottom of the sixth. Blue Jays: RHP Joe Biagini (1-3, 3.64) pitched a career-high six innings in his previous start, May 28 against Texas.

Scott, legislative leaders announce special session
Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran , R-Land O' Lakes, will bolster the money available for the agency. Nor are Enterprise Florida officials publicly expressing hope that negotiations between Gov.

London police report 'incident' on London Bridge
After ramming the auto into a barrier outside the Houses of Parliament, the driver got out and stabbed a police officer to death. White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump had been briefed on the situation by his national security team.

Chappie director considers selling experimental film assets on Steam
Alongside the question, the director posted never before seen photos from a mystery project that turned out to be Oats Studio .

White House says Donald Trump, Germany's Merkel share excellent relations
According to German media, he called the country "very bad" because of its trade deficit with the U.S. For Trump, the domestic politics of a Merkel feud are simple, with little downside.

Figure out what 'covfefe' means
That follow-up appeared at 06:09 (10:00 GMT) on Wednesday, more than six hours after the original message (posted at 00:06). I think the president and a small group of people know exactly what he meant ".

AMD RX Vega & FE Release Date, Threadripper Release, & X399 | Computex
It's clear that the industry and consumers were hungry for the innovation Ryzen has brought back to the PC market. AMD didn't offer any updated availability details for ThreadRipper, which is scheduled for release this summer.

Trudeau seeks papal apology over Canada school abuse
Canada's Truth and Reconciliation Commission has called for a papal apology, as part of the healing process for survivors. Trudeau presented Pope Francis with a Montagnais-French dictionary written by a French Jesuit in the 17th century.

Strategy, teamwork help Hamilton win Spanish GP over Vettel
Like the first two practice sessions, Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fifth and sixth, respectively. Bottas was later forced to stop his Mercedes when it started spouting smoke midway through the race.

Petra Kvitova makes emotional return to Tennis five months after stabbing attack
She will now face the victor of Evgeniya Rodina and Bethanie Mattek-Sands. "But I did not really give him chances to hit a lot". It's the fourth consecutive year that Vinci lost her opening match at the clay-court Grand Slam.

Trump hopeful for Israel-Palestine peace
After his meeting with Abbas, Trump returned to Jerusalem for a solemn tribute to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. In the eyes of cynical Israelis, Trump, like Netanyahu in the past, is awarding himself the world title of Mr.