New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

Amazon Echo, Google Home Devices Raise Privacy Questions

Amazon Echo, Google Home Devices Raise Privacy Questions

Combined with Siri you'll be able to ask it to "play more from this band" or ask for more songs with the same guitarist and the like.

It can also be used to control other devices in the home, and reportedly will be in competition against Amazon's Echo and Google Home.

Speaking at the WWDC conference, Apple's marketing SVP Phil Schiller boldly said, "This is a chance to reinvent music". Apple's positioning for HomePod is that it will sit between the quality level of a Sonos style speaker and the intelligence of devices such as Google Home.

The speaker will sell for about $350 in December in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia.

It's not just about sonic power, but sonic smarts too: the Apple HomePod is spatially aware, and can adjust its sound to suit its placement in any room.

Apple's claim on the privacy front is that the speaker doesn't start sending any information to Apple until you issue a "Hey Siri" command. But while Apple stayed focused on upgrading its flagship product, the iPhone, through the years, other competitors developed their own voice-activated assistants.

Iran leaders accuse US, Saudis of supporting Tehran attacks
Documents and equipment "for carrying out terrorist operations" were also seized, the ministry said in a statement. We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.

Apple's speaker will launch this December in white or gray and will cost $349.

"We think we can do lots to make this experience much better", said Apple CEO Tim Cook at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif.

Along with upgraded versions of iPad and Mac laptops, Apple provided look at an iMac Pro work station that had the computing built in behind the screen and was touted as the most powerful computer the company has ever made. The Apple HomePod has an A8 chip along with a unique woof specially designed by the company. Tapping Apples Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. But on this device, Siri is more than just a virtual assistant - it's a "musicologist" that will help you find new tunes on Apple Music.

At its annual developer conference, Apple typically shows off new software releases - updates to iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS - not new hardware, though it has introduced new Macs at the show in the past.

And the price tag is very, very Apple. Analysts also expect a new iPad Pro, updated features on Apple's operating system and information on how augmented reality - a mixture of the real world and virtual world - will fit into the company's strategy.

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