Here's our first look at Apple's new HomePod smart speaker


As expected, Apple unveiled an Amazon Echo and Google Home-competitor of sorts with the new HomePod, bringing Siri into the living room for voice commands at home without having to reach for an iOS device or Mac.

While Homepod is created to control smart home devices via Apple's Homekit program, the device falls short of its brethren's more advanced offerings. Apple said just like the iPod reinvented music in our pockets, it wants to do the same for music in our homes.

In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including Smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added a year ago. It's a voice-activated speaker that uses Siri.

Apple also announced that watchOS 4, the next version of its smartwatch platform, will arrive in September.

The HomePod will be priced at $349, more expensive than Amazon's $180 Echo or $50 Dot and Google's $129 Home. Many of those apps are sold via the App Store, which was revamped, and Apple gets a cut of all those sales.

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has stressed the importance of Apple's services business, predicting it will double in size by 2021. But it's a lot cheaper than the iPhone, which starts at US$649 (RM2,762) and is now the main way people access Siri. But Apple occasionally also uses the event to introduce new devices and services and upgrades to existing products.

The HomePod also will go on sale in December. Spending on smart home related hardware, services and installation fees will reach US$155 billion by 2022, up from nearly US$90 billion this year, with devices accounting for about half of that, the consulting firm also estimates.

But it is on sound quality that Apple hopes to distinguish HomePod from the dominant smart speakers on the market.

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Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said the next Mac operating system will be named "High Sierra" in tribute to the California mountain range.

"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".

Introducing iOS 11, a major update to the worlds most advanced mobile operating system, Apple has announced it would bring new experiences and several new features to iPhones and iPads this fall.

Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

Based on what you read in Apple News, words you type into messages or content you search for in the Safari web browser, Siri will make suggestions in other apps. Developers are being given tools to place 3D images of objects in the iPhone camera's field of view. New iMacs released Monday are getting better displays and graphics capabilities.

The Echo, released in 2015, and Google Home, released previous year, were the first entrants in a promising market. Apple's deep community of developers helps it compete against Google and Amazon.

He claimed this year's WWDC is the largest of the kind for the technology company.