Apple's WWDC 2017: The big takeaways for technology pros

Apple says that the HomePod speaker will fill a room with its sound technology. Apple's speaker will be launching in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in December, with additional markets to come next year. These speakers come with built-in digital assistants which are activated by voice commands.

Bonus - here's what tech analysts made of it. The speaker will be available in white and black colour options.

Amazon is powered by the Alexa assistant, delivering answers to your voice queries, traffic alerts, sports scores, nearby restaurants and all of that stuff. The HomePod won't be coming before the end of this year and will carry a price tag of $349 ( Approx Rs 22,500).

Some industry insiders, however, note Apple will be under more pressure to improve the computing smarts of its Siri software in the face of offerings from rivals Google and Amazon. On the other hand, Amazon Echo is the tallest and Google Home the shortest among the three.

The woofer, which faces upwards, provides the bass, while a series of seven tweeters and seven amplifiers are created to bring the mid-range sound, it adds. It features the same advanced front- and back-facing cameras as iPhone 7, including a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, along with a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. iPad Pro also features a four-speaker audio system, providing powerful, clear and rich stereo sound in any orientation. Beyond Amazon Prime Video, there were no direct announcement about tvOS during the presentation. One, developed by Apple, allows a user to place objects like a coffee cup, or a lamp, on a table. The Cupertino giant has a long reputation for hardware than the other two.

Google merely lists a "high excursion speaker" in its Home gadget.

Apple HomePod offers users to stream music from the Apple Music which is populated with over 40 million songs and growing.

With Apple having paid out over $70bn in payments to app developers since its launch in 2008, the updates will pose the circa 180 billion iOS app owners with new challenges when it comes to showcasing their wares to Apple device owners.

Nine Inch Nails' frontman Trent Renznor, who also works for Apple as apple music chief creative officer, agreed that it is inevitable music downloads will continue declining, just as CD sales did when music download services gained in popularity.

"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.

VR-related apps, too, which serve the likes of Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive may benefit.

The extra horsepower was needed given Apple needed to make a stand in augmented reality.

Google used its recent I/O conference to announce that you can call any number in the U.S. and Canada for free via Google Home. Corroborating the rumours, the company also launched the Siri-based speaker dubbed as HomePod.

Consumer spending on smart home related products and services will reach almost $90 billion this year and reach $155 billion by 2022, according to consultant Strategy Analytics.

All of that screen estate would mean naught if it wasn't much of a looker, but the new iPad Pro gets a new True Tone display that's 50% brighter than the old one, at 600 nits.

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