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Apple introduces smart compact music speaker

11 June 2017

Because the HomePod boasts Siri as its smart virtual assistant, it can talk about a range of topics, from sports to news to movies and more.

Sales of iPads are hardly what keeps Apple afloat, but they're still iterating and clearly have some plans up their sleeves about how you might use a new mid-sized iPad Pro. The Apple Speaker is focused on music first, not Siri. Inside is an array of seven beam-forming tweeter speakers and a larger subwoofer.

Critics have accused Apple of being behind the curve on smart speakers, which are powered by artificial intelligence systems, leading to fears that it could miss out on the generation of gadgets that could follow the smartphone.

HomePod will taking Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have been building momentum in the market for voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more. You can control the speaker with Siri by telling it what to play, marking favorites, and even asking it detailed questions about the music that's playing. On its website, Apple describes it simply as getting an immersive listening experience no matter where HomePod is placed.

Google got in next with the Google Home, a price leader at $110.

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But while Amazon and Google have stressed the daily practicalities of the artificial intelligence assistants that run Echo and Home, Apple framed HomePod more as a music-listening platform, with practicalities like reminders and calendar nearly an after thought.

Apple wanted its speaker's audio performance to be top-of-the-line. And Amazon will be coming to an Apple TV near you, ending a long few between the two institutions. Apple expects to launch the HomePod in December.

Just as "Alexa" and "Ok, Google" spurs the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers into life, Apple's HomePod is awoken with "Hey, Siri".

Apple also offered some hints about new capabilities in the next iPhone, including augmented reality. And it would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google.

Apple is also bringing Apple Pay which will help in paying someone back through its own payment service just like PayPal. Apple also said the HomePod encrypts all your communication.

Apple introduces smart compact music speaker