Industry

Apple's making an Amazon Echo competitor called 'HomePod'

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.

With the Alexa App, Amazon's Echo speakers allow you to communicate, google search, play music, etc. with the speaker robot.

Inside, it's smarter than your average speaker.

HomePod is deemed a more expensive competitor of Echo, which was released two years ago.

Apple says its Safari browser on the Mac will try to guard your privacy by identifying and blocking data files that track you as you move from website to website. This week, Microsoft also teased a digital assistant from HP, a small puck-like speaker akin to the Amazon Echo Dot.

HomePod costs $349 to start, it launches this December, and it's only available in the US, UK, and Australia at launch. In that way, it's like a very big AirPod.

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A speaker may be the star of the event, but there's much more on the agenda.

The technology giant will reportedly use the opening of its annual developer conference, WWDC, to announce the device, which is expected to be powered by voice assistant Siri. Given the fact that iOS 11 makes Siri even speaker, we should see this rival the Google Home speaker. Inside is the same processor that powers the iPhone and an upward-facing 4-inch woofer. From there, the device will scan its environment, analyzing the acoustics so it could adjust the sound output based on where the speaker is, steering the music in the optimal direction. Although Apple is late to the game, CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber says the new tools come "as the technology hits an inflection point".

Apple said it is updating its iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch Retina display and a refresh rate the company said is twice as fast, making videos smoother and crisper.

Coming in both space gray and black, the HomePod will work alongside iPhone 5s or its more recent models with the iOS11.

While there's a chance Apple could reveal more colors for the HomePod between now and December, nothing was said to imply that. That speaker has now been officially announced during WWDC, and it's called the HomePod. It has been tested by some Apple employees in their homes for upwards of a year, according to people familiar with the matter.

There's still a lot left to explore about the Apple HomePod smart speaker.



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