New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

Posted June 08, 2017

But there are three things Google and Amazon do with their smart speakers that Apple doesn't: they make products that are discreet, they sell them at a more affordable price, and they put a heavy emphasis on what their digital assistants can do.

And that might be good news for both Apple and Amazon. Apple now supports Caffe, an open-source software developed by the University of California-Berkeley for building and training neural networks, and Keras, a tool to make that process easier.

Apple is introducing a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in an attempt to revive interest in its once hot-selling line of tablets. Although the format is not exclusive to Apple, it's not yet clear how well the photos will work with non-Apple software and devices, which mostly use JPEG.

Homepod also has a Musicologist feature which works with Apple Music so you can stream your favourite tunes and if you aren't sure what you're listening to you, Siri is an utterance away from helping you. The HomePod will be available only from December starting in the US, Britain and Australia, before reaching the rest of the world next year. That speaker has now been officially announced during WWDC, and it's called the HomePod.

More news: Millwall fan who tackled London terrorists a 'hero' - Carl Frampton

But it's also possible that the HomePod could expose Siri as less capable than Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana, Blaber said. Google's Home speaker, featuring its plain-named Assistant, debuted past year.

More than 35 million people in the United States are predicted to use a voice-activated speaker at least once a month this year, according to research firm eMarketer.

Apple updates its iMac desktops pretty much each year, improving its graphics power train, its Retina displays and others such as USB-C ports. But it's suffered from an early release that saw it unable to do numerous things the Echo could do, such as shop or allow third-party integrations. HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings.

That leaves Apple. Although it was the first smartphone maker to come out with a digital assistant when Siri debuted in 2011, it hasn't had a stand-alone assistant.

More news: Schindler prepares for party after seeing Huddersfield into Premier League

Interestingly, Apple also announced AirPlay 2 earlier today, which lets you pair multiple speakers and play music in multiple rooms. For instance, Apple initially resisted enlarging the size of iPhone's screen despite strong sales for larger-display phones made by Samsung and other rivals. However, Apple believes that difference serves an important goal.

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.

Apple also rattled off a number of other little tweaks powered by ML, like the iPad distinguishing your palm from the tip of an Apple Pencil, or dynamically extending the battery life of the device by understanding which apps need to consume power.

Apple also touts multiple security layers, including anonymous ID and encryption.

More news: Van strikes pedestrians on London Bridge

Amazon's video app is coming to Apple's TV streaming box. For example, a message that says "You owe me $20" will automatically pull up a suggestion to tap into Apple Pay, which will suggest $20 as your basic payment.