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Apple unveils 'HomePod' speaker, first new product in years

Apple's long-awaited Siri-controlled speaker and the powerful new iMac Pro are expected to ship in December.

When a tech company announces the end of a product or even a feature, tempers flare and social media goes insane.

Apple's move was earlier reported on by BGR.

With the Alexa App, Amazon's Echo speakers allow you to communicate, google search, play music, etc. with the speaker robot.

WWDC is Apple's annual pitch to software engineers to continue building programs for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch.

A long-rumored change to the Apple Store briefly came to fruition today when a plethora of 32-bit mobile games disappeared from the market and could only be found by using a direct link.

Unlike its competitors, HomePod's singular objective is to deliver a really good music listening experience. "It will reinvent home audio", boasted Apple CEO Tim Cook.

HomePod will be available starting in December, initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the US.

But alas, last year's Pokémon Go fad showed us that mainstream audiences may give phone-based AR a chance after all.

HomePod, announced on Monday, will stream songs from Apple Music but also use smart assistant Siri to respond to voice commands. And, with HomeKit integration similar to what's available on the iPhone, the user can ask Siri, via their HomePod to control connected devices in their home. Overall, 24% want Apple to innovate virtual reality (VR) and AR capabilities and hardware.

While there may be lots of new apps, whether or not there will be a lot innovation remains to be seen.

The HomePod speaker: a music accessory first, and a home assistant second. 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.

Additionally, Siri through HomePod can get answers and provide assistance with measurements, translations, news, sports, traffic, general knowledge questions, and more.

In addition, Apple unveiled a new lineup of MacBook Pros and iMacs, which have more processing and graphics power than previous iterations.

A NEW feature which allows drivers to stop being being distracted by their mobiles has been welcomed by motoring groups.

Apple's updates to its text and communication features include a redesign to the iMessages app drawer to make apps and stickers more accessible to users. It's just different from what Apple is doing with the HomePod.

Apple and Google's new operating systems will roll out to devices later this year, but the companies have already showcased a bit of what users can expect. "The AR kit will create a level of innovation within their software developer community that is going to result in an awesome amount of new apps".

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