Apple to take on Amazon and Google with its new HomePod

Along with a ton of new software, Apple is expected to unveil some hardware at its Worldwide Developers Conference, this week.

According to Tim Cook, Apple CEO, the focus will be on music in the first instance: "Just like we did with portable music we want to reinvent home music".

HomePod, powered Apple's Siri digital assistant, will be priced at $349 when it begins shipping in December in the United States, Australia and Britain, the tech giant announced at its annual developers conference.

The Siri-enabled speaker links up with the Apple Home app, allowing users to control their connected smart home devices by voice, without touching their iPhone or iPad. Apple has an update in the works to help. "When you are driving you don't need to be responding to these kind of messages", he said as the mammoth screen at the San Jose Convention Center showed alerts for Tinder and games coming onto a phone.

"The fact that Apple is claiming to marry really great and smart audio with a smart assistant and cloud music service makes this device unique in the market so far".

A new Siri interface on the Apple Watch will also blend users' calendar information with other useful details, like airline tickets they may have booked, the company said.

The competition is hotting up in the home AI unit space and many Apple fans will be interested and excited to have access to a new device to add to the suite of gadgets they offer.

"It's all about keeping your eyes on the road", Federighi said. The company says this new computer will ship with an 8-core Xeon processor, with configurations that scale up to an 18-core Xeon processor, 5K display, and an all-new AMD Radeon Vega graphics GPU.

Apple also released a software kit so developers could infuse augmented reality into applications for iPhones or iPads.

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