Apple debuts HomePod speaker to bring Siri into the living room

Apple ‘to unveil Amazon Echo-style smart speaker powered by Siri' today

The HomePod will go on sale later this year and costs $349.

Apple says its Safari browser will try to guard your privacy by identifying and blocking data files that track you as you move from website to website.

Chief executive Tim Cook, referencing the company's iTunes service and iPod, said: "Just like portable music, we would like to reinvent home music".

HomePod capped a keynote presentation that included updates to Apple's iPad and Mac laptop lines, and upgraded operating software enabling augmented reality for iPhones and iPads. Although that product came out after other smartwatches hit the market, it quickly outshone competitors, according to industry research firms.

But Apple is billing it as something a little more: a hybrid of a smart speaker, like the Echo, and a wireless home speaker system, like the $300 Sonos Play:3.

The "HomePod" speaker unveiled at Apple's annual developers conference is similar to rival devices that have been released during the past two years.

HomePod will take on lower priced Amazon Echo and Google Home, which have had momentum in the arena of voice-controlled speakers capable of controlling smart appliances, fetching content from the internet and more.

Apple will roll out the free update sometime this fall. It can also tackle advanced searches within the music library by responding to queries like "Hey Siri, who's the drummer in this?"

More than 35 million people in the US are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than doubling from last year, according the research firm eMarketer.


In a nod to Amazon streaming fans, Apple is also bringing Amazon Prime to its Apple TV app. It's the first time in 15 years that Apple has held its conference in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley.

The event began with an Apple video portraying what life might be like without an app store.

Apple is expected to announce plans for a speaker on Monday. If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.

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

But while Amazon and Google have stressed the daily practicalities of the artificial intelligence assistants that run Echo and Home, Apple framed HomePod more as a music-listening platform, with practicalities like reminders and calendar nearly an after thought. Apple's HomePod will rely on its own HomeKit for support while Google Home has various partners for smart home hardware that include Samsung, Nest and Philips.

HomePod doubles as a home assistant since it's powered by Siri.

Apple has released a new Siri-enabled speaker to compete with the Amazon Echo.

Siri's name recognition could play a role in HomePod adoption.

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