Siri, speakers and software: Highlights from the Apple show

Author

08 June, 2017

Apple Inc.'s first major new product for two years, the HomePod speaker, marks the biggest effort yet from the technology company to use its Siri digital assistant to keep customers wedded to a growing palette of products and services.

HomePod combines with seven tweeters, six microphones and a woofer to provide you unparalleled sound quality and experience.

According to company, this speaker doesn't send any data to Apple until you say "Hey Siri"... and when it does, it encrypts the data being transmitted through an anonymous Siri ID so no one can listen it.

Amazon has not yet disclosed whether the Apple TV will return to its online store as a result of this deal, but we will let you know further details as soon as we can. The smartness around music could give the HomePod a significant advantage over the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart speakers.

A survey released last month by research firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the U.S. market, compared with 23.8 percent for Google Home.

The main highlight though has to be the HomePod, a smart speaker. And with Apple's HomeKit, Apple's proprietary wireless protocol for controlling third-party smart home gadgets in iOS, HomePod serves as a hub that can control connected lights and thermostats. Some of the products will be available immediately, others will come later this year.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the Apple Watch announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Monday, June 5, 2017. The features are part of the Mac software update this fall, to be called High Sierra.

Kiwis win thriller on Swede penalty in America's Cup trials
The two syndicates shared a design package, but SoftBank Team Japan, a startup syndicate, is clearly behind on the sailing front. The New Zealanders showed impressive downwind boat speed to power through on the second leg for a 2sec lead at the next gate.

Apple is getting serious about competing with Amazon's and Google's infiltration of the home.

WWDC is Apple's annual pitch to software engineers to continue building programs for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

According to Apple, HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space grey starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US. With an all-flash architecture and all-new thermal design, the iMac Pro comes with a new space grey enclosure and a 27-inch Retina 5K display.

It also announced a new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro that's faster and more powerful than existing models with more memory and storage, which will go on sale next week and start at $649. It also needs to be fun to use, Apple said.

In many ways, Apple kicked off the mass-market digital personal assistant trend in 2011 with the release of Siri for the iPhone, then considered novel for its abilities to respond to commands to make phone calls, check the weather, or set up an appointment (though its ability to understand queries was sometimes comically bad).

The company also rolled out tools for developers to create augmented reality applications for iPhones and iPads.


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