Apple introduces smart compact music speaker

Apple unveiled the HomePod, a Siri-enabled speaker, at the start of its annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), a move seen as a challenge to Amazon and Google in the smart home space.

But in the midst of all these new bells and whistles, the only new product presented was the HomePod speaker, a Siri-powered device to compete with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Well, adding further, the company has announced that this new HomePod is basically created to work with Apple Music, which means that you will have to require a subscription to music streaming service.

Other features include a room-sensing technology that will automatically adapt the sound to the size of its location.

Considering that the expected price of the speaker is going to be $349, it would only be natural to expect that Apple should deliver on these fronts. Well, it really is Apple's version of a smart home speaker.

The company's App Store has undergone a design overhaul as well, with an updated user interface that incorporates new Today, Games and Apps tabs, and original content including stories, interviews and tips.

Apple's smart speaker is similar to Amazon Alexa and Echo that have been key players in the market for quite some time. The speaker also doubles up as a Home Assistant, wherein you can set reminders, ask questions about the news or traffic, or even ask to text a friend.

"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes", said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

For connectivity, both Amazon and Google have their units connect through wi-fi and BlueTooth while the Apple HomePod so far only connects by wi-fi only. This is Apple's long-awaited competitor to Amazon's popular Echo speark.

Apple says users will be able to take better photos in low lights thanks to image stabilization, flash and HDR. Apple's device also offers news updates, weather forecasts, and the ability to control connected home electronics, but the company is taking a "music first" approach.

The HomePod has seven beam forming tweeters and an upward- facing 10.2cm woofer for improved audio output, said Apple. If you're not already in the Apple ecosystem, then the other alternatives will give you the same functionality at a less price than the HomePod.