Apple's HomePod "reinventing" listening to music at home

Angelica Greene
June 9, 2017

The Amazon Echo and Google Home are two of the most popular speakers available on the market right now.

HomePod is Apple's bet in the burgeoning market for smart home systems. Shipments of intelligent home speakers surged almost 600% year-over-year to 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter, with Amazon taking about 88% share and Google 10%, according to consultant Strategy Analytics.

Via Siri, you'll also be able to issue HomeKit commands through the HomePod, such as turning your lights on and off, or locking your doors.

To live up to that bold claim Apple revealed some of the specs that make it such a powerful device.

"Just like how the iPod reinvented music in our pockets, HomePod will reinvent music in our homes", said Apple SVP for Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller.

Apple Inc AAPL.O kicked off its annual developer conference on Monday by unveiling a "Siri face" for the Apple Watch that will enable the voice-activated assistant to provide users with information like commute times for upcoming appointments.

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It will block videos that start playing automatically, for instance, and can also prevent ads from following and profiling users. The speaker combines Apple-engineered audio tech and innovative software to produce hi-fi sound wherever it is playing.

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Apple seems to be concentrating on the music capabilities of the HomePod to start.

That's it! It's very similar to Google's speaker/assistant combo, Home, in this respect.

It's not just about sonic power, but sonic smarts too: the Apple HomePod is spatially aware, and can adjust its sound to suit its placement in any room. "Internally, the HomePod features an array of 7 beam-forming tweeters at the bottom, coupled with an Apple-Designed 4" upward-facing woofer.

When the HomePod is released this December, it will be available in both White and Space Grey finishes. Apple did list Australia as a launch country, which means, given the worldwide dateline, it's likely we'll see HomePod here before anyone else.

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. "Hey Siri", brings the speaker to life and then you can ask it to play music.

Other reports by GizPress

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