Apple launches voice-controlled speaker, taking on Amazon and Google

Laverne Mann
January 25, 2018

Good news for those of you who are in the United States, UK and Australia: the HomePod will be released there first, on February 9th, and it can be preordered beginning on January 26th.

The device was announced last May at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Jose with a December target date. Unfortunately, AirPlay 2 still isn't ready to ship quite yet and multiroom audio will not be available on HomePod initially, with support coming later this year via a software update.

Prior to releasing HomePod, Apple has also made some adjustments to Siri, according to the company, and will feature a "deeper understanding" of music and the ability to understand users' different tastes. Apple's HomePod is a smart speaker, which can stream music from Apple Music, take commands via Siri, and also be used to control smart home appliances.

This confirms that Apple doesnt plan to put Siri in any third-party devices like Google and Amazon have been doing, putting the assistant in things like home appliances and in-car audio solutions, going as far as saying that this model is probably not sustainable. Neither Amazon Echo or Google Home are yet to offer this feature. The smart speaker will later be launched in France and German during the northern spring.

Concerning news and current affairs, Apple has linked Siri to a suite of local outlets, including; ABC NEWS, SBS News, SEVEN NEWS and FOX SPORTS News. Even though it sounds like an audiophile's dream smart speaker, there's absolutely no way I can rationalize buying one.

Here's what investors need to know about the HomePod's forthcoming launch.

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

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Many have asked if a HomePod purchased in the US, UK or Australia will work in Canada (or abroad), and the answer is "yes", as confirmed by MacRumors.

"HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple".

It's too damn expensiveWith its $350 price tag, HomePod is one of the most expensive smart speakers on the market.

HomePod support will make it possible to control hundreds of affiliated home accessories such as thermostats, security systems, intelligent lights - you name it.

Siri has been around for six years, yet this is the first time she's been available to talk to outside of a phone or mac, this speaker has been created to give you all of home access to Siri as well as wonderful sound.

And Amazon is selling the popular Echo smart speaker for a seriously cheap £89.99. The speaker also will be able to send messages and receive updates from the BBC, Sky News, and LBC, said Apple.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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