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Apple announces iOS11 and other tech features at WWDC

10 June 2017

HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing.

"It's great to be back in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley and right down the street from our new campus", Apple CEO Tim Cook said in his opening remarks. "We feel like we reinvented that in the portable player area, and we think we can reinvent it in the home as well".

Apple claim that until you utter "Hey Siri", nothing is activated, or sent to Apple.

Apple unveiled its home speaker during WWDC 2017 on Monday.

"There has been a huge amount of hype around Amazon Echo and Google Home, but we are really at the start of this technology".

Customers can also use the HomePod with Apple's HomeKit system, meaning they can control smart lightbulbs, door locks and thermostats with voice commands - just as they can with the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Apple is yet to reveal what it will cost in the United Kingdom, but we expect to see it price around £300.

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The HomePod won't be here until December, but Siri's new tools and tricks will arrive with Apple's next round of software updates. For Apple, having one would further broaden the role that its software, services and gadgets play in people's lives.

During this week's conference, Apple also discussed significant software upgrades for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch and debuted new iPad and Mac computer models.

The new version of Apple's mobile operating system has received a series of updates, including an update to Siri.

Their battery charge should last for 10 hours, and Apple has included a new technology it called ProMotion, which will deliver higher refresh rates for the display.

The new Apple HomePod is a lot like its competitors: Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Apple is officially jumping into the home speaker market.

Apple's Apple Music subscription service is deeply integrated into the HomePod.

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Consumer spending on smart home related products and services will reach almost $90 billion this year and reach $155 billion by 2022, according to consultant Strategy Analytics.

Regardless of whether consumers care enough about audio quality, there are enough Apple fans who are likely hungry for a product like this as rivals Amazon and Google have come out ahead. The speaker comes equipped with the A8 chip, the same processor found in the iPhone 6 from 2016. Or you can ask it for the news, weather, traffic, sports scores, to text someone with messages and set reminders. Although Apple announced an expanded version of Siri for iOS at the conference, it seems the HomePod offers a smaller selection of commands more relevant to the situation.

Apple had plenty of other announcements. Federighi highlighted stories about Iceland after a search in Safari for holidays to the island.

There, Apple shares the lead with Chinese company Xiaomi, whose fitness tracking wristbands are mostly sold in China.

Tools that let app designers add virtual objects to a real-world view from the phone's camera, in real time, were also revealed.

Although Siri would likely be a centerpiece of a smart speaker from Apple, Moorhead said the device's design, colors and acoustics will also likely be focal points because the company has a long history of making elegantly designed products.

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Apple announces iOS11 and other tech features at WWDC