Apple's HomePod is coming. What to know about smart speakers

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Amazon and Google assistants had an advantage over Siri because they had more data from their search engines they could use to train their virtual assistants and have less-restrictive privacy policies than Apple, the former employees said. It's a speaker - the gadget costs $350 and will be available in December - that will bring Apple Music and voice assistant Siri to your home. The speaker will be operated on Siri, Apple's voice technology. Referring to the speakers' mechanical details like its virtual surround sound, Phil Schiller, Apple's marketing chief, said, "You don't have to know what any of that is; just know that it sounds incredible". Siri can be activated using the command "Hey, Siri". Apple is depending on spatial awareness to achieve its goal of reinventing home music, although it's pretty hard to imagine anyone would shell out $349 for a smart speaker. The HomePod is also tied in to the Apple Homekit, so you can talk to the speaker to interact with other HomeKit accessories.

In other words, you can ask it for recommendations, tell it to play specific artists/albums/playlists/genres and ask it music-related questions (who's the drummer in this song?). A market which although new, already has a leader in the Amazon Echo, and another newish product in Google Home. Where Apple is really focusing on differentiating the HomePod is in pure audio quality. And when factoring that HomePod comes equipped with the A8 chip, the same processor found in the iPhone 6 from 2016. Moreover, it has a seven-tweeter array that gauges the sound quality and multi-channel echo cancellation.

The firm says HomePod is a breakthrough wireless speaker for the home that delivers incredible audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio.

"You might like Bose, they might like Sonos", he continued. Synced with Apple Music, it provides unending access to one of the largest music catalogs in the world.

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An early glimpse at updates to iPhone and Mac software has become a tradition at Apple's annual conference for app developers. But it's tough to try to compare them to one another because of how Apple is positioning the HomePod.

Amazon has dominated the connected speakers category since 2014 when it introduced its first Echo, which responds to voice commands and allows users to order goods and control connected appliances.

HomePod, Apple's new smart speaker, is clearly targeted at Amazon's wildly successful Echo. We are going to have to wait and see. He also suggested that other Apple consumers will think the product is "stupid" but will buy it eventually.

The new Apple HomePod appears to be the technology company's own version of Amazon Echo and Google Home, with similar voice assistant features to Amazon's Alexa. The Echo Dot also attaches to existing speaker systems over Bluetooth or with an audio cable.

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