Apple's HomePod smart speaker is official with big focus on audio quality

It links to your Apple Music subscription to learn your likes and dislikes, and, apparently, will be able to respond to requests as vague as "play something new", and "play something mellow".

HomePod will run on the Apple A8 silicon, with what Apple is calling "perhaps the biggest brain ever in a speaker". If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.

"HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a handsome speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion-free music and be a helpful assistant around your home".

Following in Google's footsteps, Siri will also be able to translate and speak phrases from six languages, with more coming later, Apple said.

HomePod is compatible with Apple Music and can easily access full playlist on the app.

However, Google and Amazon's speakers sound like, respectively, absolute arse, and merely arse. Created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.

HomePod will taking Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have been building momentum in the market for voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more. Apple Australia has stated that Australian pricing will be revealed later in the year.

Apple's intelligent assistant Siri is getting a software upgrade - but whether that also includes new hardware to match remains to be seen.

Apple is expected to unveil new features for its Apple Watch as its Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off on Monday.

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 "beam-forming", "direct energy", "ambient audio" and all the other buzz phrases Apple's Phil Schiller trotted out to explain quite why it sounds good are largely irrelevant compared to the more basic fact that it doesn't sound like arse.

It was one of a string of updates unveiled during Apple's annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) conference - which included health-focused software updates for its Apple Watch, the next version of the mobile operating system iOS, and the arrival of virtual reality on the Mac.

Leading up to it, Apple says those outside app developers have earned more than $70 billion since Apple's app store launched in 2008.

  • Zachary Reyes