Apple to showcase new features for its gadgets

The device also would be able to control music playback and home-automation devices with voice commands.

Apple vice president Phil Schiller said the company's Siri team had tuned the assistant into a "musicologist" that learns the tastes of listeners and gets songs from the internet cloud. With the addition of Siri, HomePoad can also act as home assistant for you, which means you'll be able to schedule appointments, check the weather, listen to podcasts, set alarms, and run your Home app if you have one.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a famous Apple analyst at KGI Securities, said in a note obtained by Mac Rumors that there is a 50% chance of the Siri-powered smart speaker being launched at WWDC.

Claiming that it will do to your home what the iPod did to portable music Apple is pushing this as the first premium speaker that combines intelligence with awesome sound quality.

Observers claim that the real competition between Apple, Google and Amazon in smart speakers may come down to the quality of their intelligent assistants.




Apple has given Siri new male and female voices, described as more natural and expressive, and added abilities such as translating English phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish. Apple says it has designed HomePod speaker to work with Apple Music and the cylinder-shaped device can wirelessly access over 40 million songs from the music streaming service.

Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the HomePod will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes.

During this week's conference, Apple also discussed significant software upgrades for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch and debuted new iPad and Mac computer models. It will allow users to automatically block auto-play videos by detecting videos that shouldn't be playing when you open a webpage to read an article, for example.

Last year's event saw the introduction of iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, changing the naming convention from OS X, and a variety of updates to watchOS 3 and tvOS 10.

"We expect Apple's first home AI product will have excellent acoustics performance (one woofer + seven tweeters) and computing power (similar to iPhone 6/6S AP)". It will hit the market later this year. Apple did list Australia as a launch country, which means, given the global dateline, it's likely we'll see HomePod here before anyone else.

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