Apple unveils an Amazon Echo competitor

Is Amazon Prime Video arriving on Apple TV a big deal to you? But Apple has its own way of doing things - it moves when everyone else has moved, and stuns the world with its way of doing things.

Unlike those other smart speakers, Apple is positioning the HomePod primarily as a way to listen to and discover new songs and artists. Dieter Bohn at The Verge says Homepod is "the smartest speaker yet". The speaker retails for $349 and won't hit store shelves until December. Limp was quick to point out that you could get eight Echo Dots for the price of HomePod, and then connect the Echo Dots to any speaker with a line out connection or Bluetooth. Look at the top of HomePod and watch the LED waveform animate whenever you're speaking. Even though its only 7 inches tall, HomePod features an Apple-designed 4-inch woofer for deep bass and a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control. Its 7 tweeter array provides a 360̊ surround sound experience, and 6 microphone array ensures that no matter in which corner of the room you're, the speaker can hear you.

A smart speaker must start with a smart processor. However, a good chip can do no good without good programs and algorithms.

Blau suspected Apple only gave a glimpse at its vision for HomePod, noting its potential to be a command center for smart houses and to mesh with iPhones, iPads, online services and more.

HomePod uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio to sound best in any room (that's a Sonos feature too called TruePlay). In addition, there is also an in-built subwoofer to level the audio frequencies.

It also applies machine learning to listening as well.

For instance, if a contact sends you a request for money, Siri will immediately surface the new Apple Pay feature in your messages which allows you to make person-to-person payments, a challenge to PayPal Holdings Inc.'s similar Venmo system.




What Can You Ask it To Do?

And also some dumb questions, just for fun! Indeed, its Echo speaker will have 70.6% of users this year.

While it may sound weird, unlike Amazon and Google who proudly boast about the various things that their speakers can do, Apple has chose to position HomePod as a music primary device.

The HomePod Is, Above All, A Music Product: The HomePod is built to be a great wireless streaming speaker. Perhaps that's just for now because Homekit support is not there.

"Yes, some songs may sound pleasing, but for true audiophiles who actually want to hear what the artist and producer intended, Apple's positioning of the HomePod as super high-quality speaker is going to be a very tough sell", O'Donnell said in a blog post. The HomePod is not expected to ship until December 2017, and it will cost $349, that is almost twice as the Echo ($179) and Google Home ($129) and is expensive.

HomePod users may initially be constrained by Siri's lack of capabilities as compared to Alexa, which also boasts the ability to order millions of Amazon products as well as food from restaurants like Domino's. And when it comes, it'll cost $350.

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