Monday, 23 October, 2017

New speaker? Apple hopped on bandwagon before

Alexa Voice Message Amazon's Alexa can now link to your iCloud calendar
Derrick Tucker | 06 June, 2017, 06:51

Apple HomePod is the smart speaker that wants to be at the center of your home audio experience, and that's great news for iPhone and iPad users. New iMacs released Monday are getting better displays and graphics capabilities.

Where Apple hopes to stand out in its late entry to the smart speaker market, however, is by putting extra emphasis on the speaker part of the equation.

WWDC is primarily a software event, a chance for Apple to show external developers its plans for upcoming releases so that they can start incorporating new features into their own apps.

Overall control of the HomePod can be maintained from the Home app, and Apple also revealed users will be able to pair their phone with HomePod by holding it next to the speaker.

Analysts and investors were watching Apple's annual developers conference today for signs of what the company's next blockbuster product might be a decade after the introduction of its iPhone. It goes directly against the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

The research firm IDC says Apple and Xiaomi each has a worldwide market share of almost 15 percent in the first quarter.

Takuma Sato grabs pole for 2nd race at Detroit Grand Prix
Josef Newgarden , driving for Team Penske, was fourth in the only Chevrolet among the top seven in the 22-car field. Graham Rahal exits his vehicle after winning the first race of the IndyCar Detroit Grand Prix double- header.

Minnesota Twins turn first triple play in 11 years vs Angels
The Twins overcame two solo home runs from the Angels' Kole Calhoun , while keeping Albert Pujols stuck at career home-run No.599. Calhoun entered the game hitting.207. "I worked hard since this last start, just about being more in the zone", Gibson said.

How Michael Bloomberg is defying Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate accords
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Samsung doubled the number of wearable devices shipped compared with the previous year, but it's still at fourth overall, at less than 5 percent, just ahead of Garmin.

The company is also launching new models of both the iPad and the Mac computer. The idea is to get outside software programmers geared up to write apps for Apple products. This week, this included "Minecraft: Pocket" and a new version of "Goat Simulator", an oddball game that's exactly what its name sounds like.

Amazon puts no such restrictions on Alexa, wagering that the voice assistant with the most "skills", its term for apps on its Echo assistant devices, will gain a loyal following, even if it sometimes makes mistakes and takes more effort to use. That makes it a bit taller than the portly Google Home, and slightly shorter than canister-shaped Amazon Echo. "Currently these smart appliances are likely to be assistant-enabled, and there is a possibility of also embedding this digital assistant AI-based technology within certain premium ranges of appliances, such as smart fridges, smart wall ovens, smart coffee machines and even robotic vacuum cleaners". Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the HomePod will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes.

First it was Amazon, then it was Google and now it's Apple's turn to have a crack at a voice-activated home assistant speaker.

Christened the Apple HomePod, the squat but stylish device will take on not only early leaders Google and Amazon in the voice-controlled speaker market but Sonos for high-quality multi-room audio.

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