Apple Unveils HomePod to take on Amazon's Echo

Todd Singleton
June 11, 2017

Speaking to USA Today in an interview published on Wednesday, Amazon senior vice president of devices David Limp seemed unmoved by Apple's new smart home speaker HomePod.

Also, Schiller made a point to say that Apple cares a lot about its user's privacy, so nothing is ever being sent until you say "Hey Siri."It uses an anonymous Siri ID, too, so your searches aren't tracked back to you".

The iPhone giant unveiled a device called the HomePod, a next generation voice-controlled music speaker that will be its first major new product category since it unveiled the Apple Watch in 2014.

The HomePod's small, vase-like case houses a four-inch woofer and seven tweeters. You may get your hands on this for $349 which roughly translates to Rs 22,500.

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While there's a chance Apple could reveal more colors for the HomePod between now and December, nothing was said to imply that. The 15-inch Pro, which starts at $3499, now comes with a more powerful AMD graphics chip with either 2GB or 4GB of memory.

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Having said that, the new speaker comes with six microphones which will be the mode of interaction for users with the HomePod.

Apple is expected to add to those categories at its worldwide Developers Conference next week. I'm sure many customers will buy multiple speakers for their home.

McIlwain said he expects Apple to add new categories at next week's bash, but not almost enough to match Alexa's number of skills. Under the hood, the speaker is powered by Apple's A8 chip providing bass management through real-time software modeling and other advanced audio functions, including the new spatial awareness feature. Although the format is not exclusive to Apple, it's not yet clear of how well the photos will work with non-Apple software and devices, which mostly use JPEG. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google's Home speaker goes for $130. But of course, it has Apple branding, so that's an early sign of its success. Expect the HomePod to ship this December, presumably just in time for last-minute Christmas buying. It links to your Apple Music subscription to learn your likes and dislikes, and, apparently, will be able to respond to requests as vague as "play something new", and "play something mellow". Like Google's Home and Amazon's Echo, the HomePod can provide information such as weather forecasts, control smart lighting and other gadgets, and stream music.

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