Apple's Siri assistant will be integrated into the $349 speaker, and can make music recommendations that pair with the company's Apple Music service, send text messages, check news and sports scores and control compatible home gadgets like lightbulbs and thermostats.
Apple is also bringing the ability to pay back a friend or other individual through its payment service, Apple Pay.
"This is a smart move because Siri is not that bright and is easily outperformed by Google Assistant while being on a par with Amazon's Alexa". Unfortunately, Siri is tied to Apple Music, which means that Spotify and Amazon Prime Music aren't available (at least for now).
Homepod will launch in the US, UK and Australia in December 2017 and in other markets in 2018. Amazon's (AMZN) record-breaking Echo speaker, which it can't make fast enough, and Google's (GOOGL) Home speaker were top dogs in a new category. In the case of HomePod, which features a six-microphone array - compared to the Echo's seven microphones and Google Home's two -Apple said the device can pick up the commands from across the room. It's not revealed yet as of what technology has been used for its speakers, but Apple says it will be a breakthrough home speaker.
The HomePod is Apple's first new gadget in almost three years, following its announcement of the Apple Watch in September 2014. Coming to the market a little late in the game, only time will tell. The company displayed that it was continuing to bet on the tablets by unveiling an iPad upgrade. Apple made the pitch yesterday that it tried to create a speaker that is better than Sonos, yet as smart as Google Home or Amazon Echo.
Still, it has several similarities with the other home-assistant offerings. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smarthphones, he said. A larger problem for HomePod is also one of its headlining features: Siri.
"Apple has embarked on a complete overhaul of Siri as it responds to considerable competition and heightening user expectations", he said.
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