Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

Dubbed "HomePod" the new speaker appears to have a strong focus on music, with Apple touting it as a speaker to "reinvent home music" through features such as "Rock the house" sound, spatial awareness, and "Musicologist".

Apple has given Siri new male and female voices, described as more natural and expressive, and added abilities such as translating English phrases into Chinese, French, German, Italian or Spanish.

After years of delay, Amazon and Apple have finally reached an agreement to bring the Amazon Prime video app to Apple TV set-top-boxes everywhere.

Apple also revealed new safety systems for using iPhones within cars, featuring an enhanced "do not disturb" function.

It's no surprise that HomePod is deeply tied to Apple Music, which costs $10 a month.

"Just like the iPod reinvented music in our pocket, HomePod is going to reinvent music in our homes", Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said during the event.

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Apple is touting the fact that the HomePod is packed with drivers, delivering superior audio to the Amazon Echo and competitors like Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google Home. But the product seems directly inspired by existing smart speakers from Amazon and Google.

That's it! It's very similar to Google's speaker/assistant combo, Home, in this respect. When placed near a wall, the speaker will bounce acoustic sounds off the wall and channel vocals forward, providing a clearer voice. Spending on smart home related hardware, services and installation fees will reach US$155 billion by 2022, up from nearly US$90 billion this year, with devices accounting for about half of that, the consulting firm also estimates.

Analysts said the smart home speaker market is ripe for Apple. It's also what Microsoft is targeting with the Surface Pro; a new model comes out on June 15. Let's check it out more and see what the HomePad is all about and even though we might get to know more in the coming time since it scheduled to be officially available by December 2017, here are a few things to know about it. Google delivered an Android Auto feature for smartphones a year ago. So Siri handles the same chores that Alexa and Google Assistant are in charge of for their respective smart speakers.

A key issue for any manufacturer of a voice-activated smart device, Apple states "security and privacy are fundamental" to the design of HomePod, as with other Apple products. For Apple, having one would further broaden the role that its software, services and gadgets play in people's lives.

It is the first new device Apple has announced in nearly three years. Apple's entry could change this, as it did for digital-music sales, with iTunes, or the smartphone market with the iPhone. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smarthphones, he said. Apple's new device is called HomePod, and it marries Apple's Siri digital assistant to a home speaker.

The lack of a breakthrough device has periodically raised concerns that Apple has become too dependent on the iPhone.