Siri will be more alert on your iPhone

Mandy Carr
June 6, 2017

"This is really going after Sonos and Bose home speakers-the audio is superior to Sonos-music is in Apple's DNA", said Tim Bajarin, president of market watcher Creative Strategies (Campbell, Calif.).

"Just like iPod reinvents music in our pockets, HomePod will reinvent music in our homes", he said.

Apple HomePod joins Amazon Echo and Google Home in the battle for the rest of our non-mobile lives.

Critics have accused Apple of being behind the curve on smart speakers, which are powered by artificial intelligence systems, leading to fears that it could miss out on the generation of gadgets that could follow the smartphone.

It's also hooked up to your Apple Music account, so out of the box the HomePod is smart enough to know your musical tastes and playlists. The success of the Echo has obviously persuaded Apple-which is gaining a reputation for being reactive as opposed to proactive in consumer trends-to jump into the smart speaker pool, a decision that will be dependent on how Amazon and Google react to the new kid on the block.

Starting in iOS 10, released a year ago, the software built in a safeguarding engine, dubbed "differential privacy", that effectively scrubs and adds noise to user data so that the company can't tell where it's coming from but can still provide useful feedback to the user. Apparently, Apple, Google, Amazon, and soon Microsoft (with a Cortana-based product) see our bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens as ripe for the picking.

Apple's device will compete with the £129 Google Home and £149 Amazon Echo.

Apple introduces HomePod during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose.

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"However, In a reference to current tensions over privacy and terrorism, Apple says that the HomePod won't record anything until the term 'Hey Siri" is uttered. This is what is rumoured to be underpinning Apple's smart assistant product.

Available in December, it won't be cheap-$349-but Apple boasts that it will have better audio than its competition. Apple says that makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

Today, Apple is holding its Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple's HomePod will come in white and Space Grey, and thanks to its built-in HomeKit support, it'll allow you to control smart appliances around your home, even by using your iPhone from another location. The features are part of the Mac software update this fall, to be called High Sierra.

Apple told the developers they were overhauling the App Store, giving it a fresh look, and beginning to add the floor plans of shops and airports to its mapping program. Aside from its rippity-rappin' name, the Homepod does pretty much the same stuff all those other home assistants do, but with a more streamlined design.

Analysts said Apple is playing to its strength in the music industry by focusing on sound quality and its catalog of songs. People who own an Amazon Kindle or a Google Chromecast web-streaming connector for TV sets are more likely to gravitate to other technology from those companies or, in the case of Amazon, fill up their digital shopping carts more often. If Apple wants to be more than a hardware company, it needs to break out of its profit game sometimes.

But Apple should embrace more mass-market prices in new product categories.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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