New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

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New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

The Apple HomePod is powered by an A8 Processor from Apple. Additionally, Siri will be able to chime in by answering follow-up questions, and offer multiple results to queries.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

The speaker, in White and Space Gray, is being worked on for December shipping times in the US, UK and Australia for $349 or local equivalents. Shipments of intelligent home speakers surged almost 600 per cent year-over-year to 4.2 million units in the fourth quarter, with Amazon taking about 88 per cent share and Google 10 percent, according to consultant Strategy Analytics. Amazon has heavily dominated the field with its home speaker called Echo, which uses the digital assistant Alexa. As you speak to Siri and dictate which songs you do and don't like, it will adapt to your personal tastes.

Apple also unveiled a key content deal when Chief Executive Tim Cook said that content from Amazon Prime Video, long absent from the Apple TV product, would come to Apple devices such as the TV, iPhones and iPad later this year.

Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

The final version of iOS 11 will be released this autumn, and as usual Apple will issue a series of betas to developers and to the general public starting today.

With an image of Sonos in the background, Schiller noted, "Some have created speakers that make music sound good around our homes but these aren't smart speakers". The speaker will also maintain an emphasis on privacy by only sending voice data to the cloud in response to specific requests initiated with "Hey Siri", which the speaker will listen for with local voice recognition. And fortunately for Google and Amazon, Apple's Siri is widely seen as lagging the competition in both its quality and capabilities.

Users can ask the speaker to read them the latest news, play podcasts, set reminders - everything that's already possible with Siri on other Apple devices. Apple uses the event to showcase its new software and technologies for software developers. Safari isn't the only browser cracking down: The next version of Google Chrome will block ads on sites with poor ad experiences.

Apple launched a new size for its iPad - 10.5-inches. The next iOS may also have new features designed for artificial intelligence, the application of computers that learn and understand things like humans. When it does send information, it will be encrypted and will send an anonymous Siri ID to help with the commands the user is looking for. So far, the service has limited payments to purchases of products and services from companies and other organizations.

Ortutay reported from NY.

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