Apple HomePod Joins Amazon Echo, Google Home In Smart Speaker Arms Race

It's impressive how little information Apple can convey in a new product's promotional video.

Amazon's Echo commands 70.6 percent of the USA market and Google Home has 23.8 percent, according to a recent eMarketer report.

Safari, Apple's web browser, seeks to make users' online experience smoother and less annoying.

The company is also launching new models of both the iPad and the Mac computer.

The next Mac version will be called High Sierra, suggesting that it's a refinement of the current version, Sierra.

The tech firm also updated its Apple Pay system to enable users to directly pay other people using a text message as part of its iOS 11 upgrade. It is coming out this fall and will be a free update. Now it sells 40 million units a year. Say "Hey Siri, I like this song", and HomePod and Apple Music will remember your preferences to serve up better playlists and recommendations. Amazon has also emphasized bringing Alexa to other devices outside of the Echo like home TVs and appliances.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the developer conference a year ago. The event has been in San Francisco in recent years.

For example, at the moment Siri heavily prioritises Apple's own apps rather than allowing you to use alternatives. Not surprisingly, it depicts a world of chaos. Hardware announcements are expected this year.

Apple, though, doesn't sell its primary products at a loss or anything close to it.

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.

Apple Watch has emerged as the market leader for smartwatches - but it has competition after including basic fitness trackers in the count.

The race to gain market share through Internet-connected devices in the home is still in its early stages. Fitbit, once the leader of wearable devices, is third at about 12 percent.

Apple unveiled a few new technologies at its Worldwide Developers Conference Monday. The idea is to get outside software programmers geared up to write apps for Apple products.

The company's App Store, which receives 500 million weekly visitors and has seen 180 billion downloads in its nine-year history, was also given a redesign. This week, this included "Minecraft: Pocket" and a new version of "Goat Simulator", an oddball game that's exactly what its name sounds like. Schiller said devices like the Amazon Echo have poor sound quality, and wifi speakers like Sonos don't have interactive voice assistants. For Apple, having one would further broaden the role that its software, services and gadgets play in people's lives.

While Apple has had a voice assistant, Siri, on its phones for some time now, it has so far been left behind when it comes to smart speakers.

The post Apple "HomePod" speaker to take on Amazon, Google appeared first on Vanguard News.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to the crowd at the end of his keynote speech at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco on June 13, 2016.

  • Arturo Norris