How does Apple's HomePod speaker sound?

Augmented reality is a mixture of live images and virtual animations and objects placed over them. In one demo, Apple executive Craig Federighi pointed a camera at a table on stage and added a virtual coffee cup and a lamp on the real table.

Apple is making software tools available for outside app writers to design apps with augmented reality.

Along the same lines, the iPad's multitasking capabilities are also getting a major upgrade, thanks to the new App Switcher feature.

This will be part of the iOS 11 software update for iPhones and iPads. It is expected in September. When you say "Hey Siri", it starts listening for your command or question. It will also be paying more attention to what you do on your iPhone.

Both Amazon.com Inc. and Google parent company Alphabet Inc. most likely sell their home speakers and other hardware at a loss or perhaps a small profit. That's a contrast to Google's approach.

The device is equipped with six different microphones so that users can use their voices to interact with the device fluently and effectively "even while loud music is playing", according to Apple. However, Siri has been slow to improve its voice-recognition technology and set of responses, especially compared with the more capable Alexa and Google Assistant.

Originally rumored to be called Siri Speaker, the HomePod is a smart speaker with Wi-Fi capabilities meant to compete against Amazon Echo devices and Google Home-although it will be significantly more expensive. Only the most recent messages will be kept on the device to save storage.

A new "high efficiency" photo format will replace the widely used JPEG standard.

Taking direct aim at services like those provided by PayPal Holdings Inc., Apple also debuted peer-to-peer payments for Apple Pay in which users will be able to send money through the Messages app on iPhones.

It could be one reason Apple is playing up the musical aspect of the Homepod more than its smart home features.

Apple's WWDC keynote was packed full of big announcements yesterday.

The tech giant announced the updated iMacs would have new, faster processors as well as "43% brighter" displays.

Apple is late to the game on VR, though.

This story is developing, check back for more.

It also introduced a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and previewed the upcoming iOS 11. It will come in December starting at about $5,000.

Apple's products tend to follow a specific routine when it comes to naming. (Many reviewers have suggested that the current incarnation of Apple's assistant already trails competitors in key respects.) "This is the start of the AI wars", he said.

It's turning to machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, to make that happen. Whether or not the same separation will work via AirPlay 2-connected music from other services isn't entirely clear, but it will work for other sources. 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. The current version is just Sierra.

The extensive range of updates are all due for release later this year. Apple, by contrast, has been stubborn about letting outsiders tap the power of Siri, and the company has fallen behind as a result.

The next version of the Apple Watch operating system - watchOS 4 - includes a new watch face that puts the company's intelligent assistant Siri front and centre.

It also gives Apple the justification to price the HomePod as high as it is.

  • Arturo Norris