Apple unveils HomePod, a smart speaker with Siri inside

The HomePod is Apple's version of a smart speaker and is a direct competitor to the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Also, according to Philip Schiller, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Apple, the new speaker powered by Siri can rock nearly any room with distortion free music, while also, it can be a helpful assistant around your home. It also combats the competitive threat from Google's and Amazon's connected speakers: Those don't support Apple services like Apple Music, which brings in US$10 in revenue per user each month.

A survey released last month by research firm eMarketer found Echo speakers held 70.6 percent of the U.S. market, compared with 23.8 percent for Google Home. Siri updates the watch face with new information through the day - think calendar entries, flight information, or smart home controls - using "machine learning to adjust automatically based on your routine" according to Apple's vice-president of technology Kevin Lynch.

Apple vice president Phil Schiller said the company's Siri team had tuned the assistant into a "musicologist" that learns the tastes of listeners and gets songs from the internet cloud.

HomePod is a pill shaped home speaker that is more than just a speaker, with an A8 chip and 7 beam-forming tweeters along with a thick 4inch woofer, which delivers a powerful yet clean bass without distortion.

The new product was unveiled during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, where the company showcased some of the capabilities of the smart assistant, Mac World reports.

Interestingly, Apple also announced AirPlay 2 earlier today, which lets you pair multiple speakers and play music in multiple rooms.

The Apple WWDC 2017 keynote has now wrapped up.

Siri can also be used manage smart devices on a home network, such as heating and lighting.

Multiple HomePods can be networked together, but that will cost a pretty sum given each speaker costs $349 (£270).

As for support for third-party developers, Amazon features Alexa Skills while Apple now does not offer a comparable service for the HomePod.

You also can ask other Siri queries, such as news headlines, the weather, sports scores and more.

This will be part of the iOS 11 software update for iPhones and iPads.

Like any other Apple device, the Apple HomePod activates itself on listening to "Hey Siri".

  • Arturo Norris