Published: Sat, June 10, 2017
IT | By Amos Hawkins

Apple's new HomePod to compete with Amazon, Google

Apple's new HomePod to compete with Amazon, Google

And while its competition has had a head start - the Amazon Echo launched in 2014 for Amazon Prime members and the Google Home was released a year ago - experts in voice and visual search said instead of being late to the party, Apple could raise the bar like it did for digital music players when it launched the iPod, or smartphones, as it did with the iPhone.

The Siri face for the Apple Watch was the first step in that direction, blending users' calendar information with other useful details, like airline tickets they may have booked. The pricing of Apple's device was shared at the conference in comparison to both smart home speakers as well as premium audio speakers. It unveiled the Apple Watch in September 2014. 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.

To be available on the market in December this year, the compact wireless speaker has some identical functions offered by similar products made by other companies, such as Amazon Echo, but promises to produce sound with higher quality, Xinhua reported. Amazon has heavily dominated the field with its home speaker called Echo, which uses the digital assistant Alexa.

The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released previous year, were the first entrants in a promising market.

More than 35 million people in the USA are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than doubling from last year, according to the research firm eMarketer.

At Apple's annual developer conference in San Jose, Phil Schiller, one of its marketing executives, said: "I..." Apple said that makes the Mac a great platform for development virtual-reality "experiences".

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New features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages that sync to Apple servers in the cloud.

Apple's Hardware Announcements to Steal the Show? Per media reports, the new operating system is likely to feature a "full-on dark mode" for display along more support for Apple Stylus. iMessages and Facetime could also get updates, as will Apple Music and Apple Pay.

The latest version of Apple's Safari browser will be able to stop automatically playing videos as well as online trackers used for advertisers. It will not actually block ads, though.

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

Apart from a smart speaker, Apple lovers might also be treated to a new 10.5 inch iPad Pro, per sources. New iMacs released Monday are getting better displays and graphics capabilities.

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