Apple smart speaker 'HomePod' available on February 9

Jan 25, 2018, 00:51
Apple smart speaker 'HomePod' available on February 9

Apple customers in France and Germany will be next in line for HomePod, sometime "this spring", according to the company.

After a slight delay, Apple has announced that pre-orders for HomePod will begin on 26th January with units set to begin shipping on 9th February. The Siri waveform appears on the top to indicate when Siri is engaged, and integrated touch controls also allow easy navigation.

In June past year, Apple CEO Tim Cook himself launched their latest creation in front of WWDC attendees.

The $349 voice-controlled speaker, introduced in June and originally scheduled for a December release, can make music suggestions and adjust home temperatures.

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Apple didn't spend much time focusing on the smart aspects of the speaker when it was announced, but it changed its tune with its announcement today, mentioning its digital assistant Siri 23 times in its press release.

Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, said: "This is a critically important device for Apple given the significant head start Amazon and Google have in this area. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, lovely design that is so much fun to use", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

"It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, lovely design that is so much fun to use", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

The Apple Music subscription will give you access to a huge database that comprises any genre, mood or activity of your choice, with an ability to remember tastes and preferences shared amidst devices as well. You won't be able to do stuff like say, "Hey Siri, add this to my "Upbeat Chill" playlist", or "Play my Daily Mix". However, in the time since Apple's announcement, both Amazon and Google have released their own premium smart speakers with high quality audio, which puts Apple in the awkward position of having to play catch-up. This way you can control several accessories simultaneously.

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With SiriKit, HomePod can follow commands linked to third-party messaging apps.

Apple rolled out an update for iPhones and iPads on Tuesday, iOS 11.2.5, which lets you ask Siri to play a variety of news content.

Siri will provide generic news update with the default sources, but users can also ask for more specific news topics like sports, business, entertainment, Technology.

The HomePod will retail at a price of $349 in the United States and it will come in white and space grey colour options.

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It's not even yet 100% clear whether you'll get stereo performance from two speakers before the update.

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