Apple Finally Unveiled its Amazon Echo Rival

Apple is going to release HomePod in white and space gray colors in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia this December for $349.

Although Siri would likely be a centerpiece of a smart speaker from Apple, Moorhead said the device's design, colors and acoustics will also likely be focal points because the company has a long history of making elegantly designed products.

Apple said it had updated the processors in its iMac and MacBook Pro lineup to Intel's most recent "Kaby Lake" processors.

Some industry insiders, however, note Apple will be under more pressure to improve the computing smarts of its Siri software in the face of offerings from rivals Google and Amazon.

Analysts and investors were watching Apple's annual developers conference for signs of what the company's next blockbuster product might be a decade after the introduction of its iPhone. And as The Verge mentions, the Home Pod also has a "Musicologist" feature that "works with Apple Music to stream the music you ask the speaker's built-in Siri to play".

Apple will later this year release a "HomePod" music-centric smart home speaker, challenging a market now dominated by Amazon and Google in its latest move to weave deeper into people's lives.

However, while HomePod doesn't do anything the Amazon Echo and Google Home don't do in terms of its smart functions, Apple's promises of incredible sound and a smart speaker that adapts to the room its in could give it the edge.

Apple will roll out the free update sometime this fall.

The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod's owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played.

Oil slides as USA climate withdrawal compounds glut concerns
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Other features coming to the Mac include the ability to stop video from automatically playing on websites when using Safari.

The money can be stored on a virtual card and used with Apple Pay, which Apple expects will be accepted in 50 percent of US retailers by the end of the year.

In a nod to Amazon streaming fans, Apple is also bringing Amazon Prime to its Apple TV app.

A set of iOS 11 features including enabling smartphone cameras to read QR codes are aimed at the China market, where Apple would like to bolster iPhone sales.

The technology giant also announced a new software kit for developers called ARKit, which will enabled app developers to build augmented reality apps on Apple's platforms more easily.

The speaker is part of Apple's smart home drive, which began with Apple HomeKit.

But really, this is Apple's admission that it needed to kick the voice command can down the road a bit and strengthen Siri but it goes gunning for Google and Amazon.

The Cupertino, California-based company said Siri, which also competes with Alphabet Inc's Google Assistant, will now work across devices. But on a screenless speaker like HomePod, if Siri sucks, the whole gadget does too.

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