Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Industry | By Dora Warner

Apple event highlights the rise of the smart speaker

Apple event highlights the rise of the smart speaker

"Apple is smart to position it as music centric rather than yet another smart speaker or just a home for a digital assistant", Jan Dawson, an analyst at Jackdaw Research, told CNET. On the software front, Apple unveiled iOS 11, and upgrades to MacOS and watchOS.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. The microphones are also used to sense how the room responds to sound so the HomePod can tweakits output automatically. It's obviously compatible with Apple Music, and also works with Siri, accessible via a six-microphone array - definitely helpful not only for requests but also to ask questions about what is now playing: "Siri, who wrote this song?" Soon, HomePod will be just like Google Home or Amazon Echo, but a better music playing device too.

Google Assistant, in the search company's speaker, did considerably better by answering 68 per cent of questions with 90 per cent accuracy. The Echo's audio quality has always been criticised as one of its few failings, so this isn't exactly surprising, and the HomePod is bassy without being overbearing.

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Apple's "True Tone" display will dynamically adjust the white balance4 of the display to match the light around the user for a more natural viewing experience.

Investors do not believe it will, with Apple shares dipping slightly on the Nasdaq stock market following Monday's unveiling. Users will also be available to control smart home products such as connected lighting by speaking to Siri through the HomePod. At $349 it's priced substantially higher than the $175 Echo and $129 Google Home.

Well, adding further, the company has announced that this new HomePod is basically created to work with Apple Music, which means that you will have to require a subscription to music streaming service.

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Apple has finally dived into the market of the smart speaker to take on Amazon Echo, Google Home. A speaker may help keep customers loyal to service products such as Apple Music, a subscription music streaming offering that costs $10 per month. Before, Apple Pay transactions could be done only with businesses and institutions.

The new Fire TV app sounds similar to the shopping app Amazon rolled out for the Apple TV tvOS in December, although that app was only for Amazon Prime members, and it is not clear whether this one is limited to Prime members or not. Apple said that makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality "experiences", although the company didn't announce any consumer VR products. No third-party app developer on the planet has updated their apps yet for iOS 11 (how could they?) and there will absolutely be compatibility issues. Meanwhile, Siri has a new voice, a new visual interface, the ability to perform task management, and a new translation feature that is still in beta.

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