Introducing Apple's Homepod - will you be purchasing?

Apple concluded its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote on Monday with a sneak peek of an all-new product: The HomePod. Echo is powered by Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa.

Apple has finally made its claim on the Bluetooth speaker market: the company introduced the "HomePod" this week to compete with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home.

All told, companies are pushing for voice-powered commands where computing is not tied to a screen.

The cylindrical speaker, known as the "HomePod", resembles the Mac Pro at 7in tall and promises to "reinvent music in the home".

Privacy is also being touted as a vital component of the HomePod.

Users can interact with the speaker from across the room, even while loud music is playing.

But none of that is much different from what Amazon and Google speakers already offer. The HomePod features seven tweeters and a 4-inch woofer that Apple suggests will provide sound that will "rock the house".

The HomePod comes with an A8 fusion chip, the same one that powers the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It has multi-channel echo cancellation, real-time acoustic modeling and more.

"It's the biggest brain inside a speaker", Apple marketing head Phil Schiller proclaimed. The HomePod uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust audio accordingly. The speaker works with Apple Music, which allows easy access to a huge library of songs and playlists. This includes playing tracks from Spotify, Apple Music, asking a question regarding the lyrics or artist behind a particular song and so on. Siri on HomePod is triggered by simply saying "Hey Siri", which in turn lights up the top LED display of the speaker with a Siri-esque waveform pattern. Sonos also has ambitions on integrating with every intelligent voice assistant out there.

As were the rumors suggesting, Apple was going to launch a Wi-Fi speaker and the company did that at the WWDC 2017 keynote. Interestingly, Sonos was absent from the list of early speaker partners. Google Home and Amazon Echo have certainly jumped out to a headstart in this category, but that just means Apple has had a chance to sit back and watch the reaction in order to release its own version with hopefully less issues and an emphasis in key areas. The company itself stated that its new HomePod is created to deliver a great listening experience, and everything is offered on the smart speaker is secondary. But to what extent Apple can surpass market leaders Amazon and Google?

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space grey starting in December initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US. The Amazon Echo is priced at £149.99/$179.99, with the cheaper Echo Dot available for £49.99/$49.99, while Google Home is £129/$129.

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