Apple unveils HomePod smart speaker

Alyssa Bailey
June 20, 2017

What are your thoughts on the new Apple HomePod?

That assessment won't be put to the test until at least December, when Apple's HomePod is released.

Smart home features are another big focus for other smart speakers, and this will be the first such speaker to support Apple HomeKit.

With HomePod, Apple is also offering some robust personal security features, which should work to its advantage, both Husson and Ask suggest. It's a smart marketing strategy. At a much steeper price, putting a HomePod in every room would be prohibitively expensive for most customers.

The device is a pill-shaped circular speaker.

The HomePod will offer strong audio with an array of seven tweeters, each with its own amplifier, and an upward-facing woofer.

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If Apple can outmatch the latter on sound, while providing enough smarts to compete with the former, the HomePod might have the makings of a good buy. The chip does all the fancy audio engineering - real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam forming and echo cancellation. The HomePod is going to be a lot more spendy, and it won't be available for quite some time. It's hard to know for sure when you're listening to a song coming out of giant speakers in a conference hall. Apple says that the speaker can adapt to the environment in which it is placed, playing music in all directions when placed in the center of a room while directing sound to the away from walls if placed in a corner.

Geoff Blaber, VP Research Americas, CCS Insight said: "It is little surprise that Apple has chose to launch a smart speaker". Users can interact with the speaker by saying "Hey Siri, I like this song".

At the WWDC17 event, Apple also unveiled the new iPad 10.5, iMac Pro and the new operating sytem iOS 11 with the new Control Center along with an updated App Store. While many experts believe that Amazon's product is now stronger than Apple's (especially its activation command) and more competitively priced, it may not take long for Apple to add features and improve its Home Pod.

It also gives Apple the justification to price the HomePod as high as it is. It comes in white and space grey, and will retail at $349 (£270).

And that's about it for now. In the U.S., the device will sell for $349. This makes Amazon's speaker more functional and versatile. Discreet and reliable service.

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