- Apple has launched its answer to Amazon Echo: HomePod, a voice-controlled speaker, integrated with Siri assistant, which can make music suggestions and control home gadgets. It’s paired with Apple Music service.
- The US$349 speaker, which can beam specific parts of music, like the singer’s voice, at the listener, will begin shipping in the US, UK, and Australia in December. It can send text messages and check news and sports scores.
- Other announcements at Apple’s worldwide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose last night included the launch of a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, an iMac Pro, and iOS 11.
Why it matters
- This is Apple’s first major product launch since the Apple Watch in 2014. The tech giant is looking for more ways to monetize its apps and services, making up for a dip in iPhone sales.
- The Siri voice assistant is expected to work with a wider variety of apps and services, enhancing its capabilities. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are key areas of focus in the rivalry between tech giants.
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