Later Monday, it's expected to announce an internet-connected smart speaker to compete with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home. We are guessing that Apple has tuned into the expertise it gained from its acquisition of Beats back in May 2014, which was meant to raise its competitive outlook in the music streaming business.
Tapping Apple's Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music.
Apple has confirmed it will release a smart speaker called HomePod, so you can chat to Siri all the time and not just on your phone. He bragged about the sophisticated hardware in the device.
"Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos". "While neither speaker is outright bad, I wouldn't buy either of them if sound quality was my primary aim", CNet wrote last November. HomePod is seven inches tall, and is intended as a "breakthrough" speaker in addition to being a personal assistant. Before, transactions had been limited to products and services from businesses and institutions. Amazon and Google are betting that most customers won't care.
The Apple HomePod features high-end audio performance for music fidelity and quality. Cook said Monday the company now has 17 million registered developers, three million more than a year earlier. The new iOS is also adding powerful multitasking support for the iPad.
Machine learning was a recurring theme throughout Apple's presentation today, and it powers a wide range of features across Apple's devices, from recognizing images on Mac to improving battery life on iPhone. "Apple will carve out some sales in the smart speaker market with HomePod but will continue to stand far behind Amazon and Google by the end of 2017", Ronan de Renesse, of the analysis firm Ovum, said in an email.
The speaker employs the same A8 chip used in the iPone 6 and 6 Plus, the iPad mini 4 and Apple TV. Amazon is betting that ubiquity is the key to success in this market.
"Interesting that home assistant was the last feature they talked about".
The device is a pill-shaped circular speaker. If you buy an Alexa-enabled appliance, you'll also be able to ask it to call you an Uber or play trivia games with you.
Amazon's Alexa smart assistant, which powers Echo, has also seen some major growth in the a year ago, and it has found its way into other devices and systems, as well as Ford Sync. Apple said all communications are encrypted. The six microphones come with noise cancellation, which Apple claims is strong for Siri to understand and respond to commands even from someone across the room issuing them with loud music in the background. You won't be getting any visual answers out of the HomePod.
It was only a matter of time before the biggest voice in artificial intelligence joined the fight for smart speaker supremacy. A computer processor will tune sound to the room and beam specific parts of music, like a singer's voice, toward the listener.