New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

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.

In early May Patently Apple posted the first report in the Apple community about Inventec having landed the first order for Apple's Home Device for Siri.

During this week's conference, Apple also discussed significant software upgrades for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch and debuted new iPad and Mac computer models.

The speaker, while expected by some industry watchers, marked Apple's first new product announcement since the Apple Watch in September 2014.

Today at WWDC, we finally got a look at Apple's rumoured smart home speaker, the Homepod. It can be used to send messages receive updates about news and weather, control smart devices, and much more.

Apple's HomePod will come in white and Space Grey, and thanks to its built-in HomeKit support, it'll allow you to control smart appliances around your home, even by using your iPhone from another location. So there's a lot of focus on Apple Music integration.

The Photos app is adding new filters, and Apple says it has improved the face detection feature.

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The speaker comes with a seven-array, beam-forming tweeter, with directional control, and a bass woofer - and it's powered by an A8 chip, which Schiller said may be the "biggest brain in a speaker". In terms of audio quality and music curation, the Home isn't a bad performer, but audio fidelity takes a backseat to other features as with the Amazon Echo series. The latest example is the HomePod, the company's entrance into the competitive market for home personal assistants.

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.1 HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.

The Apple HomePod is a wireless speaker that promises to deliver incredible audio quality. And it would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google.

It is also created to work with Apple Music subscriptions, able to access your music library and make recommendations based on song history.

But for a company that doesn't want your data - to make Siri better, it has increasingly been asking for it. Apple contends that it still doesn't want to see your information.

Naturally it responds to "Hey Siri" at which point a Siri-esque light appears at the top allowing you ask it some commands. I'm actually more curious to know how Apple is handling multi-room setups - something no company not named "Sonos" has really figured out. The Siri Speaker may be more of a living room device than a kitchen device. Google already tries to be proactive with its Assistant on Android phones and Google Home speaker.