New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

Amazon Stock A 10 Billion Opportunity That Is Growing Fast

It unveiled HomePod, a new 7-inch tall speaker for playing music, checking the news and controlling other connected devices in the home. That money can immediately be used in retail stores that take Apple Pay or can be moved to a bank account.

McIlwain said he expects Apple to add new categories at next week's bash, but not almost enough to match Alexa's number of skills.

Apple is expected to announce plans for a speaker on Monday.

It is the first new device Apple has announced in nearly three years. You can also easily cancel or check how much time is left on a specific timer; just say "Alexa, cancel the pasta timer", for instance, or "Alexa, how much time is left on my garlic bread timer?"

Chief executive Tim Cook, referencing the company's iTunes service and iPod, said: "Just like portable music, we would like to reinvent home music". It's not clear whether Apple will turn a profit on the device when it officially hits the market later this year.

The extensive range of updates are all due for release later this year.




New features coming to iPhones and iPads, meanwhile, include marginal improvements such as syncing messages to Apple servers in the cloud, saving storage space on phones and tablets.

■ Some of the most popular apps, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, don't cost anything.

The next version of iOS, which powers the iPhone and iPad, as well as desktop software macOS and the Apple Watch's watchOS were also updated at the firm's annual developer conference, WWDC. This week, this included "Minecraft: Pocket" and a new version of "Goat Simulator", an oddball game that's exactly what its name sounds like. While the Echo and Home aren't known for great sound quality, Apple engineers-presumably with some help from Beats engineers-built the HomePod for high-fidelity audio quality. You can activate it with a wake word-"Hey Siri"-and ask an artificially intelligent assistant, Siri, to play music". People who own an Amazon Kindle or a Google Chromecast web-streaming connector for TV sets are more likely to gravitate to other technology from those companies or, in the case of Amazon, fill up their digital shopping carts more often.

Apple's smart assistant is about to get a lot smarter.

Apple was the first major company to introduce a digital assistant into its devices, with the launch of Siri. iPhone users can interact with their apps through Siri, and as of recent software upgrades, can also use Siri voice commands to control their Apple TV.

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