Apple unveils 'HomePod' speaker, first new product in years

Apple unveils 'HomePod' speaker, first new product in years

An early glimpse at updates to iPhone and Mac software has become a tradition at Apple's annual conference for app developers, which began yesterday in San Jose, California. At the price of $349, it is quite an expensive device for just a speaker. By analyzing the sound received from its own music playback, for instance, the HomePod can fine-tune its speakers to give you the best immersive audio experience for the largest physical area possible. Apple is depending on spatial awareness to achieve its goal of reinventing home music, although it's pretty hard to imagine anyone would shell out $349 for a smart speaker.

"It's clearly about the hardware but also making Siri more obvious to consumers so you can see where she's getting smarter", said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies. I'm sure we'll learn more about the device in the coming months, but it seems like Apple is downplaying this announcement.

HomePod will taking Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have been building momentum in the market for voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more.

Unlike those other smart speakers, Apple is positioning the HomePod primarily as a way to listen to and discover new songs and artists.

We did say at the top that the WWDC is known for iOS news, and this year was no different.

A parade of executives followed Cook unto the stage and unveiled a series of updates to Apple's hardware, software and mobile applications, or apps, including iMac desktop computer, MacBook laptop machine, iPad, Apple Watch, iOS software operating system and App Store. It has pretty decent sound quality, has an ever growing list of the app it is compatible with and is intelligent enough to get done most of your mundane tasks that otherwise would have required you to do manually. He expects service revenue to double by 2020 from last year's $24 billion.

At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed nearly anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray. The new iPad starts at $649 and will start shipping next week. Apple HomePod can also work in collaboration with a second HomePod speaker to enhance the quality of music. HomePod can adjust your lights individually, change the thermostat, close the garage door when you forget, or lock up and set the alarm.

Apple adds do not disturb while driving feature to iPhones
Control Centre has been redesigned to fit onto one page, and it's customisable with access to more settings than ever before. You'll be able to open a second app right from the Dock and have both apps active side by side in Split View or Slide Over.

But it was the new iMac Pro lineup that stole the entire show - it's a Supercomputer with memory up to 128 gigabytes, storage up to 4 terabytes, and it comes with processors clocked up to 22 teraflops.

Apple also revealed new safety systems for using iPhones within cars, featuring an enhanced "do not disturb" function.

Apple is introducing a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in an attempt to revive interest in its once hot-selling line of tablets.

At this conference, Apple also launched other new products and updated softwares. Federighi highlighted stories about Iceland after a search in Safari for holidays to the island.

Apple has made the privacy of users a big deal encrypting all your communication. Developers are being given tools to place 3-D images of objects in the iPhone camera's field of view.

Setting up the HomePod requires just placing a functional iPhone running iOS 11 next to the HomePod.