Officially called the HomePod, this home music speaker will be selling for $349 initially in United States, United Kingdom and Australia markets.Advertisement
“Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes”, said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
Apple’s also expected to unveil a voice-activated, internet-connected speaker to rival Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.
Apple Inc. introduced Monday a music speaker, its first new hardware since Apple Watch was rolled out two years ago, at an annual gathering of software developers.
“A big question mark for the new speaker, though, is whether Siri is good enough to power its own dedicated device”.
Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, will serve as the operating system for Apple’s speaker, playing requested songs and controlling home products like thermostats and lamps programmed to work with Apple devices.
Additionally, it will integrate tightly to control HomeKit devices, so you can dim the lights or other such home automation tasks, using your voice.
The free software update for mobile devices, iOS 11, is expected in September, when Apple typically releases new iPhones.
“However, In a reference to current tensions over privacy and terrorism, Apple says that the HomePod won’t record anything until the term ‘Hey Siri” is uttered. The pricing of Apple’s device was shared at the conference in comparison to both smart home speakers as well as premium audio speakers. Apple said that makes the Mac a great platform for development virtual-reality “experiences”.
For Apple’s AR play, it announced a new software development kit (AR Kit) to give third-party developers the ability to build augmented reality applications on iOS.
As one expects from such assistants, Siri is also capable enough to ‘send out messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices.’ The speaker will work hand-in-hand with Apple Music to serve as the ideal musicologist – surfacing new songs based on your recent plays and mood. WWDC runs through June 9. It can also fetch scores, news, weather and traffic information. And if you want timers or reminders?
New iPads: Apple showed off new versions of its personal tablet, as well, which features ProMotion – a software improvement that increases the refresh rate to smooth out streamed video.
The extensive range of updates are all due for release later this year.
Apple also unveiled a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and announced Apple Pay compatibility for Messages, meaning that it will be possible to send money to friends and family. The new model starts at $649 and will start shipping next week.
The 2017 event opened on Monday and featured the company’s top executives making announcements about iPhones, MacBooks, and new Apple products. It was a surprise as Apple had promised six things they were looking at, but this came out as a seventh!