As expected, Apple is introducing a smart speaker to compete with Google's Home and Amazon's Echo. It will utilise Apple music and Siri to do everything from play music to control other smart home appliances. One is that, at least anecdotally, most people still use their Echo (or Google Home) as a way to play music easily. It understands natural language requests better than Alexa, it can differentiate between different users based on their voice, and it can place voice phone calls to anyone (not just other Echo owners).
If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.
The HomePod will hit the market in December in the USA, U.K., and Australia for $349. The research firm eMarketer says than 35 million people in the USA are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than doubling from last year. Following Microsoft, Facebook and Google, which all emphasized artificial intelligence at their annual developer conferences, Apple threw its own hat into the AI ring, heating up the competition in Silicon Valley.
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 fantastic sound quality.
The free software update for mobile devices, iOS 11, is expected in September, when Apple typically releases new iPhones.
Apple has gone ahead and updated all of its new laptops and desktops to Intel's latest generation of Kaby Lake processors.
During its marathon 2½-hour keynote speech, Apple repeatedly touted its AI and machine learning capabilities across all three new operating system updates.
Packing a smarter Siri and some fancily-named musical talents, it's looking to simultaneously suplex Sonos and arm-wrestle Amazon's Echo family.
Apple also says it'll be easy to pair with your Apple devices, just like it is with the Apple AirPods due to the W1 chip and support multi-room audio - a feature we greatly appreciated in this year's Beats headphones line-up. Additional markets are planned for next year, while there is no word yet on Australian pricing.
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, speaks during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif., Monday, June 5, 2017.
Apple also revealed Amazon will be making an app for its video service for the Apple TV device this year, filling one of the major gaps on Apple's streaming TV device. But while consumers likely will view the device as the latest addition to a market now dominated by Amazon and Google, Apple has bigger plans for its new product.
Safari, Apple's web browser, is getting new features aimed at online annoyances.
For photos, Apple is turning to a "high efficiency" format to replace the widely used JPEG standard.
New features coming to iPhones and iPads include messages that sync to Apple servers in the cloud.
Leading up to it, Apple says those outside app developers have earned more than $70 billion since Apple's app store launched in 2008. The new model starts at $649 and will start shipping next week. Apple announced a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro with slimmer side bezels, increasing the screen size by almost 20 percent.