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

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

IT

Apple executive Phil Schiller introduces the HomePod speaker at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif.

Apple is expected to unveil an artificially intelligent smart speaker to rival the Amazon Echo and Google Home later today.

HomePod does plug into an outlet for power, but will stream from your iPhone, iPad or connected Apple device wirelessly. The wireless home speaker offers support for Apple Music, voice control, home assistant functions, and advanced audio quality features.

HomePod capped a keynote presentation that included updates to Apple's iPad and Mac laptop lines, and upgraded operating software enabling augmented reality for iPhones and iPads. Or if someone texts you about owing money, it will ask if you want to pay using Apple Pay.

As part of iOS 11, Apple Pay will give users the ability to make peer-to-peer payments, like Square and PayPal, directly from any iOS device.

Apple was also expected to unveil improvements to Siri, its digital voice assistant that competes with Amazon.com Inc's Alexa and the Google Assistant helper.

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The Patriots are looking to get that situation all taken care of before Edelman can even sniff free agency. NFL Media reported early Thursday the Patriots and Edelman were moving toward a contract extension.

This includes commute times for upcoming appointments, relevant information from apps such as Activity, Alarms, Breathe, Calendar, Maps, Reminders and Wallet, as well as headlines from the new Apple News app for Apple Watch. It will utilise Apple music and Siri to do everything from play music to control other smart home appliances.

The latest version of Apple's Safari browser will be able to stop automatically playing videos as well as online trackers used for advertisers. It is coming out this fall and will be a free update.

Apple will begin shipping the HomePod to the United States, Britain and Australia in December.

Augmented reality is the blending of the physical and virtual worlds.

Apple told the developers they were overhauling the App Store, giving it a fresh look, and beginning to add the floor plans of shops and airports to its mapping program. Although the format is not exclusive to Apple, it's not yet clear how well the photos will work with non-Apple software and devices, which mostly use JPEG.

The technology, a feature of the wildly successfully smartphone game Pokemon Go, overlays digital information on real-world images and is seen as an area in which the keenly awaited 10th-anniversary iPhone can stand out from competitors.

  • Kyle Warner