Apple Debuts Smart Speaker Homepod

New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

In a battle between Apple and Amazon, it's easy enough to see a repeat of the iOS/Android war, where Echo speakers eat up the bottom end of the market while Apple reaps profits at the top.

Although the HomePod looks a lot like several competing products from Amazon and Sonos, the company insists it's really quite unique.

These speakers aren't just some random speakers but they are advanced and built to give you the sheer sound experience. This may have been the case with this smart speaker as well. All of a sudden, a voice-controlled device for the home was able to do more things and understand voice better than Siri.

The ambitious announcement, which was overshadowed by the introduction Monday of the HomePod speaker, plunges Apple into a race against Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Snap Inc. and others to conquer an emerging technology that uses cameras and computers to overlay digital images on a person's view of the real world. The number of things you can do with an intelligent speaker or any device that is linked to a digital assistant is not, in my opinion, what truly matters.

Despite given lesser attention for AI, HomePod will still have the backing of Siri, which means that you can do all the basic tasks except for the additional skills in Echo speakers using HomePod. Amazon recently added message and call options, so the speakers will likely be used even more for communication in the future.

Google Home, on its part, features a 2-inch driver and dual 2-inch passive radiators within a frame that's smaller than the Echo. The HomePod is also being sold as a music device above all else rather than virtual assistant.

Amazon has a big head start on HomePod, which Apple says won't ship until December. Amazon has already sold 15 million Echo speakers, according to Forrester, and it is nearly ready to launch its next-generation device that will feature a screen to display more information. Yes, it's the long-rumoured Siri speaker we've all been waiting for. Amazon and Google are running away with the market that the Echo helped create.

Like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, the HomePod will play music while also helping people to manage their lives and homes. In addition, there is also an in-built subwoofer to level the audio frequencies. Even the demo was run from an iPad which would imply there is Bluetooth support with HomePod. Using its microphones to measure the size of a room, the HomePod "senses" its location and adjusts the sound accordingly.

How do they work? But I'm not counting it out: If anyone can make this work, Apple can.

The Echo can play music from popular music services like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn and iHeart Radio. For instance, Amazon Echo has struck partnership with a host of third-party apps such as Domino's Pizza, Uber and so on. That is a smart move when you think that Apple not only knows music but knows hardware. HomePod is its name, and Siri smarts is what drives it. If you're concerned about your privacy, it might be a worthy investment. This can be an unsettling concept for people anxious about privacy, but companies say they're not recording when not in use. Plus there are separate mute and listen buttons.

With regard to the newcomer, the Apple HomePod, the company's approach is what holds it back. Again, we've heard the audio performance of the Echo for ourselves, and we'd put it just slightly below the Google Home - it'll do for a party or some casual listening but serious music enthusiasts are going to be left wanting.