Apple unveils 'HomePod' speaker, first new product in years

Alyssa Bailey
Июня 8, 2017

Apple used its Worldwide Developers Conference this week to announce that the Amazon Video app will now play on the latest generation of its Apple TV OTT devices. Besides playing music, Apple's Siri digital assistant will also respond to requests for information and other help around the house. This cooldown has created problems for Apple, which relies on iPhone sales for most of its revenue and profit.

Apple announced updates to tvOS, watchOS (WatchOS 4), MacOS (High Sierra) and iOS (iOS 11) during the WWDC Keynote and the key to numerous software updates was increased AI/ML integration and AR/VR functionality.

The functionality of the iPad Pro has been updated with more seamless use of Apple Pencil and Notes. With MacOS High Sierra, Apple has integrated improved AI capabilities in the Photos app to improve facial recognition and selective color modification.

Apple had plenty of other announcements.

"There is so much momentum building around these speakers that it would be hard for Apple not to come out with one", said industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. The move means that people can now transfer money to one another using Apple Pay.

Executives also unveiled new MacBooks, iMacs and iPads at the conference, which for the past three years has focused exclusively on software.

The 21.5-inch model can have up to 32GB of RAM, while the 27-inch can have twice that at 64GB of RAM. Siri now uses machine learning "on-device" to suggest things like calendar entries and responses to messages.

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New indoor maps of areas like malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future. Both Amazon's Alexa and Google Home's Google Assistant will be able to power a swath of compatible home automation products and are directly linked to big home automation companies like Nest, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings and WeMo. And Apple's important-if understated-news at WWDC further escalates a fight that has ratcheted up quickly over the last few years.

iOS 11 will also block notifications for phones if those phones are connected to cars.

It will come with an upgraded version of the Safari web browser which will prevent videos from autoplaying and prevent users from being tracked across sites.

Apple also launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a 12.9-inch iPad Pro feature the world's most advanced display with ProMotion technology and incredible performance with the new A10X Fusion chip. Siri can also now perform translations from English to Chinese, Spanish, French, German, or Italian, with more languages coming soon.

The new version of Apple's mobile operating system has received a series of updates, including an update to Siri. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops.

Apple also brought file system and virtual reality (VR) to High Sierra.

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