WWDC 2017: Apple Brings Siri-Powered Smart Speaker HomePod

While iOS 11 is the newest operating system by Apple which will be released on all compatible older devices, the OS will work and run the ideal way when paired with the latest hardware introduced in the newly launched iPad Pro. Still, Apple can only offer updates to older devices for so long, and three different devices are on the chopping block this fall.

Apple has announced that its new iOS 11 operating system will enhance Apple Pay by including a feature that allows direct peer-to-peer payments through text messages. It's a smart wireless speaker powered by the Siri AI that seems created to compete with the likes of Amazon's Alexa and Google's Home speaker.

HomePod will be available starting in December, initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.

Siri is no longer just a programmable voice assistant you give commands and do stuffs for you. Soon, HomePod will be just like Google Home or Amazon Echo, but a better music playing device too.

The feature, announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) now taking place in California, comes after a number of lawsuits in North America where drivers distracted by their phones have been involved in life-changing crashes.

The service, which will launch first in the USA this fall, will put Apple Pay in direct competition with PayPal's Venmo, a leader in the growing peer-to-peer payments market. Cook did state that more updates will be coming later on this year, however. There's a whole lot to be excited about, and you can see all of the coolest new iOS 11 features right here.

Market analysts were largely impressed by the breadth of updates.

Apple is also beefing up the Retina display with ProMotion technology, allowing it to push out refresh rates that go all the way up to 120 Hz.

Apple also had a series of hardware reveals.

Apple says that the aim of the redesign is to make it easier to find apps, and the new UI is certainly clearer and less cluttered than its predecessor. While the MacBook and MacBook Pro get faster processors, the iMacs not only get the same treatment but also beefier graphics chips and more memory to sweeten the deal. Thanks to a mixture of virtual machine support and native OS capabilities, you can generally run x86 apps from any era in a modern system.

The final version of iOS 11 will be released this autumn, and as usual Apple will issue a series of betas to developers and to the general public starting today.

  • Zachary Reyes