Apple also says it'll be easy to pair with your Apple devices, just like it is with the Apple AirPods due to the W1 chip and support multi-room audio - a feature we greatly appreciated in this year's Beats headphones line-up. These giants are battling over still-emerging fields that are expected to turn into technological gold mines, much the way personal computers and smartphones became moneymaking machines in previous decades.
HomePod is created to work with the Apple Music subscription service and can produce rich sound while tapping into the artificial intelligence power of Siri. Siri can serve as a musicologist for music lovers as it can quick provide answers to questions like "Who is singing this song?" and "Who is playing the drums in this song?"
The speaker will sell for about $350 in December in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia.
In many ways, HomePod will be able to do the same things as an Amazon Echo or Google Home, including playing back podcasts, setting reminders, checking sports scores, translation and controlling internet-connected devices. Both Amazon's Echo and Google's Home have taken the markets by storm, but they have always been dogged with privacy concerns about who has access to users' spoken data and search queries.
Apple iPad Pro 10.5 is available next week
To enable the option, press down on the globe keyboard button and either move the keyboard to the left or the right of the device. Apple Pay is coming to iPad as well, allowing users to pay for goods and services within apps or on websites in Safari.
In addition, Cook said Apple, headquartered in Cupertino, Northern California, now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added past year.
For that reason, Apple made the point that the price of both of these items would normally be more expensive than the HomePod price. Externally, the Siri-enabled smart speakers would be best described as a Mac Pro with a mesh.
To allay fears of any type of snooping, Apple assures prospective buyers that the "Hey Siri" launch phrase is recognised locally on the device and if any information is sent to Apple servers, it will always be encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier. The company "can't afford to yield valuable real-estate in the heart of people's homes to Amazon, Google and others", said Geoff Blaber, research analyst at CCS Insight. (Many reviewers have suggested that the current incarnation of Apple's assistant already trails competitors in key respects.) "This is the start of the AI wars", he said. Whether Apple will be able to (or wants to) match the depth of its rivals' integration remains to be seen.
New iMacs are getting brighter displays and graphics capabilities.
HomePod will be available in December for $349. It'll arrive in the United Kingdom and Australia at the same time and, though won't be hitting the Middle East until next year.