Apple expected to debut new Internet-connected speaker at developers conference

Claudine Rigal
Juin 8, 2017

HomePod is controlled using Siri, the company's voice-activated personal assistant, which has, according to Apple, been trained to be better at answering questions about music such as "Hey Siri, who's the drummer in this?"

"You can be across the room and speak to the HomePod even while loud music is playing", Apple's Phil Schiller said during the introduction presentation.

While Amazon Echo and Google Home began stealing some market share from Sonos, Sonos prided itself on the excellent audio engineering that went into its speakers.

This year, alongside the usual iOS and macOS updates, Apple is expected to announce a Siri smart speaker.

Apple's Siri assistant will be integrated into the $349 speaker, and can make music recommendations that pair with the company's Apple Music service, send text messages, check news and sports scores and control compatible home gadgets like lightbulbs and thermostats.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of Apple hardware, software and services. GOOGL, +0.78% GOOG, +0.83%, with its Google Home product, and Amazon Inc.'s AMZN, +0.46% Amazon Echo.

"We are so pleased to welcome Amazon to Apple TV", Cook said during the conference.

Cook also used the Apple keynote to show off new iPad and Mac computer models, as well as provide glimpses at coming versions of the software powering the technology titan's devices. Siri also has a new screen in the Apple Watch which presents data and information that may echo earlier behavior at a similar time of day or the week. Both speakers can respond to voice requests for the news, weather and tasks such as turning on the lights. A preview of a new high-powered iMac Pro desktop, due to be released later this year, was also teased.

Last year's event saw the introduction of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, changing the naming convention from OS X, and a variety of updates to watchOS 3 and tvOS 10. Apple says that will mean 4K video files up to 40 percent smaller than with H.264.

Apple told the developers they were overhauling the App Store, giving it a fresh look, and beginning to add the floor plans of shops and airports to its map program.

Apple also touched on other Siri features in the speaker, although these were mentioned in a secondary manner - the company is clearly focusing on the music capabilities.

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