Apple Announces HomePod - The Smart Speaker for your Home

Apart from Apple TV announcements, Apple also unveiled hardware and software upgrades during its WWDC presentation, which is now up on its website. Apple will start selling the HomePod this December for $349, competing with devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo.

HomePod is created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs.

San Francisco: Apple on Monday introduced a music speaker, its first hardware since Apple Watch was rolled out two years ago, at this year's annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). Apple's speaker will be launching in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in December, with additional markets to come next year. Apple is aiming to differentiate the HomePod from Google's and Amazon's home devices is in sound quality and tight iOS integration.

Exterior-wise, the Homepod looks much slicker and modern compared to the Echo and Home. And prospective buyers will have to be content with the white and Space Grey colour options once the HomePod is released in December. Although that product came out after other smartwatches hit the market, it quickly outshone competitors, according to industry research firms.

If you want to make the most out of your HomePod, you're going to want to buy at least a couple of smart-home devices.

Apple marketing boss Phil Schiller said Apple wanted to combine good speakers with smart speakers you can talk to, referencing Sonos and Amazon Alexa. It's formidable rivals such as Alphabet (Google Assistant), Amazon (Alexa), Facebook (Messenger bots), Microsoft (Cortana) and IBM (Watson) have surged forward on the technology. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smarthphones, he said. Apple also announced a new macOS dubbed "High Sierra" that should please Mac users on both the professional and consumer side.

This story is developing, check back for more.

Apple had plenty of other announcements.

Michelle Obama.APMichelle Obama spoke at Apple's developer's conference in San Jose on Tuesday, but unless you were one of the select group of conference attendees approved by the company, it wasn't easy to find out what the former First Lady had to say. It will allow users to automatically block auto-play videos by detecting videos that shouldn't be playing when you open a webpage to read an article, for example. It will not actually block ads, though.

The new iPad Pro will be available in three sizes, including a 10.5 inch model.

The speaker houses Apple's A8 chip along with a sub-woofer at the top.

The new version of Apple's mobile operating system has received a series of updates, including an update to Siri.

Apple is also bringing the ability to send money to friends or other people through its payment service, Apple Pay.

At this very moment, all we care about are all of the awesome new features Apple showed off in iOS 11, because we don't have to wait another second to get our hands on them.

Ortutay reported from NY.

  • Arturo Norris