Apple unveils HomePod, competition for Amazon Echo

Apple Home Pod speaker announced at Apple's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference

Apple Home Pod speaker announced at Apple's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference

Considering both Amazon and Google smart speakers are available in the market for a lot longer, they offer greater functionality which ranges from ordering a pizza to calling a cab or even reading out recipes! As of now, neither the Echo nor the Google Home speakers can be considered top notch in terms of the quality of the sound they produce. It is seven inches tall and has seven tweeters. A case of less is more? From the opening of the video when someone says off camera, " Hey Siri, play my favorites", to the end, we hear music as the camera gives us a look around the device.

So if the government requests Siri data on a specific user, Apple would not be able to pick that info out of millions of random numbers. Want to start a timer or need to ask a simple trivia question? It will tell you the joke because Siri is inside it.

One of the major (and also hotly anticipated) announcements was the unveiling of Siri-integrated HomePod.

If Spotify is your preferred music service for example, you can't use voice commands. If you're waiting for a better laptop, then not so much. Meanwhile, Google Home is expected to account for 23.8%, while other smaller players like Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and Mattel would account for only 5.6% of the total users. Per reports, the operating system now features a more natural-sounding voiceover for Siri, which is now capable of translation. Apple didn't touch on this at all...

In case you happen to be a longtime user of iOS, you'd know for sure that iOS was not known for its file management friendliness and that there was no "Files" apps on the platform earlier.

Apple Music is relatively affordable, but those invested in competing services, such as Spotify, might hesitate at the thought of dumping their beloved playlists and social connections.

Google Assistant also has a fair amount of third-party apps and services (although it doesn't seem quite as expansive as Amazon), such as Pandora, Uber, Spotify, Dominos and Google Calendar.

Siri has a bunch of new features including translation from English to other languages like Mandarin and Spanish, by simply saying it in English. "It's actually lovely and we call it Homepod", Apple CEO Tim Cook said. It remains to be seen how the market responds to the HomePod after it hits the USA shelves in December.

The message here is simple: to prevent you using your phone in a unsafe manner, we simply won't let you. This only applies to North America though. HomePod also can sense the size of the room it is in, and through spatial awareness it is able to adjust audio to suit the environment.

However, we did get a chance to listen to the power of the audio and compare it to the might of the Sonos Play3 and the Amazon Echo and it's pretty impressive. In accordance with previous rumors, the Tim Cook led firm indeed unveiled its debut Home speaker at the WWDC 2017.

While there's a chance Apple could reveal more colors for the HomePod between now and December, nothing was said to imply that. "Given the price point relative to competitive offerings, we would expect the near-term impact from HomePod to be immaterial", Piper Jaffray's Michael Olson wrote in a note to clients.

Amazon's Echo isn't officially available in SA either (it's already available elsewhere though), but carries a US$180 price tag.

Each Google Home requires an account tied to it, but it's possible to create dummy accounts that wouldn't have all your personal information.

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