Apple Debuts HomePod, Its Competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo
Apple today announced the HomePod, a new in-home speaker similar to the Google Home and Amazon Echo. It features the Siri voice-based assistant and can act on spoken requests with a focus on music. Apple says Siri on the HomePod is able to handle natural-language requests, such as "who's playing drums on this track", "play more songs like thins" and so on. The HomePod focuses on music and works natively with Apple Music. Apple says it developed the HomePod to sound good, understand where it is, provide a fun experience, and more. It has a seven-tweeter array to drive audio in multiple directions and a 4-inch woofer that's upward facing. It is powered by an A8 processor with real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, and multi-channel echo cancellation. It can sense the size of the room it is in and adjust how it performs in order to fill that space with sound. Apple says HomePod works perfectly with Apple Music, including playlists, artists, albums, and will learn users preferences over time. Some core features include reminders, sports, news, alarms, messages, translations, stocks, traffic, and more. It can also interact with HomeKit devices for adjusting the thermostat, controlling lights, and scenes (which rely on multiple home devices acting together.) The iOS home app can be used to control the HomePod from afar. Apple said it expects to debut the HomePod later this year for $349.
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Apple today said its HomePod smart speaker for the home will go on sale starting February 9. Preorders will kick off Friday, January 26.
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