Published: Mon, June 12, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Apple shows off HomePod Siri speaker

Apple shows off HomePod Siri speaker

Is that, plus some high-quality sound, enough to make this smart speaker worth the price?

It's possible that Apple knows it can't stay the pace with Alexa or Google Assistant just yet, though it seems to be trying based on its recent acquisitions.

Additionally, Siri through HomePod can get answers and provide assistance with measurements, translations, news, sports, traffic, general knowledge questions, and more.

When Apple announced the HomePod during their Worldwide Developers Conference event last week, it was clearly implied that it would primarily function as a home wireless speaker and used mainly for listening to music (or at least for now).

Apple is entering a new field that is now dominated by Amazon Echo and Google Home. The move is one of the first significant forays by Apple in the voice-technology, since the time it launched Siri way back in 2011. Both Google and Amazon's voice control systems record a few seconds before and after you call on them - and save those recordings online until you delete them. The long and short of it then is that Apple HomePod is just that-it is a smart speaker with an assistant.

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If Amazon's head of devices is nervous about the new Apple HomePod, he's not letting that show.

HomePod will cost $349, which puts it in a more expensive market when compared with Amazon's Echo that runs for $179 Echo, while Google Home costs $129. But go tell that to Apple Fanboys, who, I am pretty sure, will buy these in big numbers! The new speaker would be deeply integrated into the other technology developed by Apple, and it would offer customers two main purposes. It can also analyze the music while it's being played through it and automatically adjust volume levels to ensure that there's zero distortion in sound while music is being played. Keeping true with a tradition created by founder Steve Jobs, CEO Tim Cook announced the HomePod as the day's "one last thing".

Third-party devices such as Lenovo's Smart Assistant also use Amazon's Alexa assistant. That same user can't ask Siri to play music through Spotify, which competes with Apple Music. As a commerce platform, Amazon's path to profitability is more about the products it sells through Alexa than the Alexa products themselves.

Bloomberg reported that the new speaker entered overseas production ahead of the yearly conference held by Apple.

"On stage, Schiller talked up the HomePod's acoustic qualities, which include seven beam-forming horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own amplifier, and a 4" powered woofer that can adapt to the acoustic characteristics of the room it's playing in. The HomePod will be available only from December starting in the US, Britain and Australia, before reaching the rest of the world next year.

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