Apple HomePod Siri Speaker Promises Amazing Sound Quality

Posted June 09, 2017

Unlike those other smart speakers, Apple is positioning the HomePod primarily as a way to listen to and discover new songs and artists.

Safari, Apple's web browser, seeks to make users' online experience smoother and less annoying.

"We want to reinvent home music", said Apple's Tim Cook.

Going head-to-head with Google Home's speech recognition or Amazon Echo's voice command developer ecosystem could have been disastrous. The Apple Watch is the company's most innovative product of the past few years, and its growth has been steady but slow.

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 will later this year release a "HomePod" music-centric smart home speaker, challenging a market now dominated by Amazon and Google in its latest move to weave deeper into people's lives.

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The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod's owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played.

The browser's new "intelligent tracking prevention", meanwhile, will use machine learning to identify and block digital-ad trackers in order to keep advertisers from following and profiling users.

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

Apple says Amazon will be making an app for its video service for the Apple TV device this year, filling one of the major gaps on Apple's streaming TV device.

About 5,300 developers from 75 countries were expected to attend this year's conference, which returned to San Jose for the first time in 15 years (it had been in San Francisco's Moscone Center). That device was just a multi-touch feature phone with a few Apple utilities until it became everything with the App Store launch.

Apple is expected to announce plans for a speaker on Monday.

Apple appears poised to unveil a voice-activated, internet-connected speaker that would create a new digital pipeline into people's homes. With a seven-tweeter array and a four-inch subwoofer, the HomePod should deliver substantially better sound than Amazon or Google's equivalents.

Siri's name recognition could play a role in HomePod adoption.

The speaker, while expected by some industry watchers, marked Apple's first new product announcement since the Apple Watch in September 2014.

But really, this is Apple's admission that it needed to kick the voice command can down the road a bit and strengthen Siri but it goes gunning for Google and Amazon.