Apple's HomePod speaker pumps up the volume on tech rivals

Six microphones are built-in to pickup your voice from across the room, even while loud music is playing. The device will work with a user's Apple Music subscription.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

Apple is taking on Google Home and the Amazon Echo with its Siri sporting HomePod smart speaker, revealed at its World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2017. In comparison, the original Echo costs $180 and Google's Home speaker costs $129.

But it's also possible that the HomePod could expose Siri as less capable than Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana, Blaber said.

Amazon dominated smart home related products and services shipments in the three months through December, selling 88 percent of the 4.2 million smart speakers sold globally. Both speakers can respond to voice requests for the news, weather and tasks such as turning on the lights. The research firm eMarketer says than 35 million people in the US are expected to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, more than double its estimate from last year.

"We want powerful machine learning to be easier to use in your apps", software chief Craig Federighi said as he unveiled a toolkit that allows developers to use Apple's AI technology. The new Echo Show goes on sale on June 28 for $230.

It can also now be used for person-to-person payments.

That leaves Apple. Although it was the first smartphone maker to come out with a digital assistant when Siri debuted in 2011, it hasn't had a stand-alone assistant.

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According to an announcement made during the company's flagship software WWDC keynote, the app will be called Files.

Unlike those other smart speakers, Apple is positioning the HomePod primarily as a way to listen to and discover new songs and artists.

Apple also states security and privacy are vital. It unveiled the Apple Watch in September 2014.

Apple News users will now get personalised suggestions from Siri alongside stories curated by the Apple News editors under the Spotlight tab and videos under Today View.

Drivers will still be able to use Apple CarPlay, of course, in cars that are equipped with it. Apple CarPlay is a vehicle interface specifically created to allow drivers to hear and respond to text messages using voice commands and to safely use other iPhone features while driving.it's available from a number of automobile manufacturers, including General Motors (GM), Fiat Chrysler (FCAU), BMW and Honda (HMC), and works through a computer screen in the auto.

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the company has been cooperating with the United Kingdom government following a string of terrorist attacks in the country.

Now Apple Pay users will be able to send and receive money to another number quickly and securely as they get the ability to send money directly from Messages.

Apple has announced details on iOS 11 that will be landing this fall.

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