New speaker? Apple hopped on bandwagon before

Posted June 06, 2017

Along with upgraded versions of iPad and Mac laptops, Apple provided look at an iMac Pro work station that had the computing built in behind the screen and was touted as the most powerful computer the company has ever made.

- HealthKit and the Apple Watch.

05/06/2017: Apple has finally revealed its long awaited Siri-connected speaker at this year's WWDC, a direct rival to the likes of the Amazon Echo and Google Home. And all communications will be encrypted, meaning authorities can't try to tap home communications. It's likely any speaker unveiled by Apple will of course use Apple Music to stream tunes and users can request songs to start playing with the power of their voice.

The price is quite a jump from Google's $129 Home and Amazon's $180 full-sized Echo.

Apple's device will compete with the £129 Google Home and £149 Amazon Echo. However, the market for such devices is nascent and expected to grow by 129 percent this year to 35.6 million users.

This week's event, known as the Worldwide Developers Conference, convenes thousands of developers who create apps for Apple's operating system. Apple says that makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

Five soldiers injured, one dead as militants open fire on Army convoy
The attack took place shortly after there was a ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu & Kashmir's Krishna Ghati Sector. Soldiers of the Indian Army in action against terrorists in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir .

But Apple is late to the game on VR. Its entry into digital-music sales with iTunes, and into the smartphone market with the iPhone, upended those industries and gave them mass appeal. The new iPads also come with a redesigned Retina display featuring ProMotion, a new technology that delivers 120Hz refresh rates for smoother scrolling and motion, including with the Apple Pencil. The camera is also improved, for portrait mode and live photos, as well as the introduction of High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) to reduce the size of photos on the iPhone 7.

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

In iOS 11, Apple's forthcoming mobile operating system, the company is introducing peer-to-peer payments through iMessage. Apple said HomePod can separate vocals and other parts of the music via Apple Music, but that more recent recordings will perform the separation better. Called High Sierra, it recognizes more faces automatically, which should make it easier to organize photos, and will offer more photo editing tools.

It's turning to machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, to make that happen. It will not block the ads themselves, though. The more powerful iMac is meant to address concerns of creative professionals who had been limited to much less powerful iMacs or the much-loved Mac Pro, which hasn't been updated since 2013. It's also what Microsoft is targeting with the Surface Pro; a new model comes out on June 15.

"Apple has got to have this speaker, because they need Siri to not only be relevant but (to) use Siri as a place where they can add other services and capabilities", said Bob O'Donnell, president of Technalysis Research.

The watch can communicate with some gym equipment to share data between the two - like your heart rate or the treadmill's incline.