Siri in your living room: Apple unveils $349 HomePod

Tim Cook CEO speaks during Apple's annual world wide developer conference in San Jose California

Tim Cook CEO speaks during Apple's annual world wide developer conference in San Jose California

What remains unknown about HomePod is just how well Siri works within the speaker - it is still yet to be shown off within HomePod.

Apple is pitching the HomePod as a music player above everything else, perhaps because Siri is perceived to be far weaker than Google's Assistant and Amazon's Echo intelligent assistants.

A key issue for any manufacturer of a voice-activated smart device, Apple states "security and privacy are fundamental" to the design of HomePod, as with other Apple products.

It is the first new device Apple has announced in nearly three years. Siri also has a new screen in the Apple Watch which presents data and information that may echo earlier behavior at a similar time of day or the week. The device will compete with Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, and is scheduled to be released later this year, the company said. Note that Google Home is priced at $129. It will be out available in the market by the end of this year.

Apple explains it as "Apple-Designed Home Music Speaker with Amazing Sound Quality and Intelligence".

Apple Pay is making a play in the peer-to-peer payments space. Augmented reality is the blending of the physical and virtual worlds.

Another One Of Apple's Clever Marketing Ploy? Its entry into digital-music sales with iTunes, and into the smartphone market with the iPhone, upended those industries and gave them mass appeal. These devices will only keep the most recent messages in local storage. Video in High Sierra now uses the HEVC compression standard, which supports high quality 4k videos at up to 40 percent smaller file sizes than the current H.264 standard.

Considering that the expected price of the speaker is going to be $349, it would only be natural to expect that Apple should deliver on these fronts. Apple now allows users to send money to other Apple users via iMessage.

WWDC 2017: Apple Inc. (AAPL) Unveils HomePod and a Ton of "Pros"
There's an Apple A8 chip inside the HomePod to handle all the audio processing and privacy protection that Siri is vaunted for. A 27-inch Retina 5K iMac specced up with 32GB of 2400MHz DDR4 and a 2TB Fusion drive memory costs $4709 for instance.

In addition to the usual annual software updates, the company launched some exciting new products that will definitely strengthen the ecosystem.

Still, the HomePod is a big step up from Apple's last speaker product (remember 2006's Apple Hi-Fi?). Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at SP2 Restaurant in downtown Monday night for a private event.

New photo editing tools, as well as filtering tools based on machine learning which can sort images by keywords and faces, will refresh the Photos app in High Sierra too.

It will come with an upgraded version of the Safari web browser which will prevent videos from autoplaying and prevent users from being tracked across sites. Furthermore, two separate HomePods will automatically sync meaning that this is a smart, flexible and intuitive system.

Apple is introducing a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in an attempt to revive interest in its once hot-selling line of tablets. As part of that session, a new Mac Pro was promised for 2018, along with an all-new model called the iMac Pro for late 2017.

Executives also unveiled new MacBooks, iMacs and iPads at the conference, which for the past three years has focused exclusively on software. "Every time they are announcing new stuff lots of new features on the iPad, new messaging, drag and drop stuff".

A prototype of Apple's new HomePod is displayed during the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) at the San Jose Convention Center on June 5, 2017 in San Jose, California.

And speaking of driving, Apple is also adding a "do not disturb" feature for when you're in your vehicle, keeping you focused on the road.

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