Apple battle rivals with new 'HomePod' to reinvent home audio

Apple battle rivals with new 'HomePod' to reinvent home audio

Apple battle rivals with new 'HomePod' to reinvent home audio

If Apple wants to sell more people on its streaming music subscriptions, imagine what it can do if it sells HomePod as a loss leader to push more people on the wisdom of Apple Music on a specially designed home speaker. If that doesn't happen before the speaker launches later this year, however, the two colors Apple has picked are at least subtle and non-offending.

"New indoor maps of areas like malls and airports indicated that Apple might be laying groundwork to display information over images of those places in the future". It's likely any speaker unveiled by Apple will of course use Apple Music to stream tunes and users can request songs to start playing with the power of their voice.

It's Apple's first new device since the company released the Apple Watch in April 2015. Apple is reportedly also about to announce a Siri speaker during its WWDC 2017 keynote this coming Monday, yet it's unclear if the company can push past the stigma that still surrounds Siri. "It's the biggest brains ever in a speaker", said Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller.

At the company's annual developer conference next week, it is expected to add to those categories. Apple also laid some groundwork for augmented reality, the projection of digital features onto real-world surroundings, by giving app developers tools for incorporating AR into their products.

Some of the most popular apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Sanpchat, don't cost anything.

The digital assistant will work with a much wider selection of apps starting with iOS 11, due out later this year, and has a new male voice option and icon. This week, this included "Minecraft: Pocket" and a new version of "Goat Simulator", an oddball game that's exactly what its name sounds like. That makes it a bit taller than the portly Google Home, and slightly shorter than canister-shaped Amazon Echo. Google Home followed in October and Microsoft's assistant, Cortana, is also finding a home in home speakers.

Alexa by Amazon has over 10,000 "skills", or you can say third-party apps that allow you manage your home appliances OR play music via Spotify on one of the Echo devices.

The Amazon Echo is powered by Alexa, an AI core built on AWS' cloud infrastructure.

Recent data from ComScore supports this idea, that most people tend to use smart speakers like the Echo for basic tasks.Amazon just announced its AI assistant Alexa will now be able to recognize commands to set reminders and named timers.

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