Apple's HomePod smart speaker steals the show at WWDC 2017

While rumors had it that Apple was poised to announce a smart speaker to take on Amazon Echo at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2017), which rumor turned out true; the company also notched up its hardware offerings with new artificial intelligence capabilities in Macs and iPhones, and allowing third-party apps to tap into that power.

At the highly anticipated event, Apple introduced a smarter, more expressive Siri that can make more accurate predictions about users intent, and then the high point: the unveiling of Siri-powered smart speaker.

Albeit, the company already made its iPhone a smart-home hub, using its HomeKit software, the upcoming HomePod smart speaker is where Siri will eventually become home.

The HomePod represents Apple's first new category of hardware since the Apple Watch, and the attention for smart speakers stems from the perceived possibility that these devices - not smartphones - will become the hubs that power the future smart home, as proven by Amazon, which essentially invented the smart speaker category with its Echo device in late 2014.

And the voice-activated speakers can be used, typically in the living room, to play music, order sushi, or even tell a knock-knock joke, all without leaving the room or to look at a screen or use your hands.

Apple, though may be late to the party, which is already encroached by tech giants like Google, Microsoft, HP, Lenovo and Samsung; all trying to catch up to Amazon. But the big question for the new speaker remains whether Siri will be up to speed to power its dedicated devices.

The HomePod, however won't be home until December; meanwhile Siri's got a catch-up to do with its new tricks now with Apple's next round of software updates.
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