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Apple unveils HomePod to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home

10 June 2017

With the Homepod, Apple promises a newer and more efficient software for the speaker, as well as its other new products revealed at the conference. Unlike Amazon's new Echo Show, Apple's device does not have a screen.

Tim Cook attends Apple's Wolrdwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California on June 5, 2017.

Apple's Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said that Apple has been working for years to reinvent the way we enjoy music in the home, and to that end, the company first designed the HomePod to be a great speaker. And it would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google. Created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.

Nonetheless, there's no denying that Siri doesn't currently match market leader Amazon Alexa, which now offers over 12,000 voice-based skills with more added each month. Control what? Music, of course, and Apple assumes that you'll have an Apple Music subscription.

Hence, if you are looking for a top-notch home audio device, the new Apple HomePod is the way to go.

Apple's HomePod speaker pumps up the volume on tech rivals
On a monthly basis, that means about 35.6 million consumers are chatting with Google Home, Amazon Echo , or a similar device. Considering those two differences, Limp didn't seem concerned the HomePod would start eating into the Echo's customer base.

It starts shipping later this year in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia. With over two years in public development and many more behind closed doors, Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant are going to be smarter, more clever and more intuitive than anything Apple puts into the HomePod. Spending on VPA-enabled wireless speakers is expected to eclipse $2 billion by 2020, according to the consulting firm Gartner.

Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs. 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. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.

While I would agree that Apple Siri has experienced many growing pains since launching, I think the voice assistant has vastly improved in recent years.

Apple had plenty of other announcements. This week, this included "Minecraft: Pocket" and a new version of "Goat Simulator", an oddball game that's exactly what its name sounds like.

Apple's annual developers conference is the company's chance to preview upcoming features for iPhones, iPads, watches and Mac computers.

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The new MacOS High Sierra will also be rolled out later this year, offering a smart photos feature to make it easier to find what you're looking for. It will not block the ads themselves, though.

Apple is introducing a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in an attempt to revive interest in its once hot-selling line of tablets.

One reason could be the iPhone itself, one of the most successful consumer products in history.

Siri, meanwhile, is getting a new voice.

Apple also laid some groundwork for augmented reality, the projection of digital features onto real-world surroundings, by giving app developers tools for incorporating AR into their products. Or if someone texts you about owing money, it will ask if you want to pay using Apple Pay.

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