Apple 'HomePod' speaker to take on Amazon, Google

Marlene Weaver
June 8, 2017

Metadata, therefore, already provides extremely helpful information to investigators without Apple defying its promise of protecting user data through encryption.

Chief executive Tim Cook told Bloomberg TV: "We have been co-operating with the UK Government not only in law enforcement kind of matters but on some of the attacks".

"The fact that Apple is claiming to marry really great and smart audio with a smart assistant and cloud music service makes this device unique in the market".

A new Apple HomePod smart speaker is seen on display during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California on June 05, 2017.

A survey released last month by research firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the U.S. market, compared with 23.8 percent for Google Home. The Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO made a particular point of highlighting the mind-blowing sound quality of HomePod. Apple uses end-to-end encryption in the iPhone's standard iMessage app, which is something certain members of the United Kingdom government have been reluctant to accept.

The Siri-powered speaker, created to take on Google Home and Amazon Echo, was the showstopper at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote.

HomePod is also integrated with Apple Music, the company's streaming subscription service with around 40 million songs.

Apple seems to be aware that it is late to the smart speaker party, almost two years after Amazon debuted the Echo and several months after the release of the Google Home.

A new Apple speaker was unveiled this week at the iPhone maker's WWDC opening keynote.

Besides the focus on music, HomePod is meant to be a home assistant to get things like weather, traffic reminders, sports and other updates.

As Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research observed, this year's WWDC was the iPhone vendor's "most hardware-centric" conference in years even without the introduction of a new iPhone. It's also good to go for gaming and virtual reality.

Indeed, some analysts have pegged AI as the next vital software platform in mobile, replacing operating systems now that Google's Android and Apple's iOS have cornered that market.

The new iPad Pro will have a 10.5-inch screen, placing it between the current 9.7 and 13-inch screens of Apple's flagship tablet.

The new 10.5-inch model reduces the borders by almost 40 percent to fit into an incredibly compact package that still weighs just one pound. Yet it isn't as bulky as the 12.9-inch model.

"There are a few updates to its laptop line", he said of the new MacBook and MacBook Pro.

New features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages that sync to Apple servers in the cloud.

It also enhanced its workout app to, for instance, support high intensity interval training.

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