Apple’s WorldWide Developer’s Conference this morning had got a lot stronger buzz on social media than some of its recent events. The company also exposed a new iMac Pro, as well as upgraded iMacs and MacBook’s. Meanwhile, Siri has a new voice, a new visual interface, the ability to perform task management, and a new translation feature that is still in beta.
Just as we expected, Apple unveiled its Siri speaker, Homepod, today during its WWDC keynote. Amazon sells the main version of the Echo for $180; Google’s Home speaker goes for $130. You can check out our comparison check here.
The HomePod is also integrated with Apple’s HomeKit smart home platform and can complete HomeKit commands, like turning on air conditioning and adjusting window blinds. Jan Dawson, chief analyst at Jackdaw Research, says the price is good for a high-end audio device. Although Siri does support a narrow set of third-party voice actions on iOS devices, it’s unclear whether these will be accessible on HomePod. However, consumers have found that talking to an assistant while on the move in the street is very different to interacting with a smart speaker in the home, which is how Amazon had such success with the Echo, shifting a reported 11 million devices by the end of 2016. Or make that new voices, with a male version of Siri is getting a refresh, too.
Apple Watch is bringing Siri front and centre.
Also, in important news for the upcoming macOS release, High Sierra, there will be an update to Safari that helps block site trackers and autoplaying videos – something that seems to be an epidemic on media sites right now and it drives me, personally, insane. It will block videos that start playing automatically, for instance, and can also prevent ads from following and profiling users. The update will be available in the fall.
The HomePod is Apple’s first new line of products since the Apple Watch in 2015.
Alphabet Inc. followed with Google Home, a speaker introduced a year ago.
Apple vice president Phil Schiller said the company’s Siri team had tuned the assistant into a “musicologist” that learns the tastes of listeners and gets songs from the internet cloud.
Augmented reality is a mixture of live images and virtual animations and objects placed over them.
Apple is tapping into a market that is projected to be the next big thing in the technology industry. Apple’s entry into the market could change that. The new iPad Pro is larger with a 10.5-inch display – an upgrade of almost an inch. Yet it isn’t as bulky as the 12.9-inch model. Under the hood is a proprietary Apple A8 chip, the same processor powering the iPhone 6.
New Apple HomePod smart speaker are on display during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, on June 05, 2017.
For photos, Apple is turning to a “high efficiency” format to replace the widely used JPEG standard.
Apple has put specific focus on making sure the sound coming from the HomePod is as high-quality as possible. So far, the service has limited payments to purchases of products and services from companies and other organizations.
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.
The feature, called “Do Not Disturb While Driving”, will activate if a phone is connected to a auto through either Bluetooth or a cable. The phone will block most notifications to reduce temptations behind the wheel.