The Best Hits and Worst Misses of Apple WWDC 2017

Gwen Vasquez
June 10, 2017

Created to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, Apple claims that HomePod provides knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.

Apple is finally jumping into the smart speaker craze. With its seven tweeters and one woofer, the Apple HomePod should theoretically sound better and so justify its price tag.

Along with upgraded versions of iPad and Mac laptops, Apple unveiled an iMac Pro work station that had the computing built in behind the screen and was touted as the most powerful computer the company has ever made. The next iOS may also have new features designed for artificial intelligence, the application of computers that learn and understand things like humans.

KitGuru Says: Honestly I'm a little surprised that Apple didn't think to release its own wireless speaker sooner, especially when you take into account how popular iPod docks/speakers were over the years. Of course, HomePod has some shiny, innovative features like scanning your room to configure the sound to the ideal frequency, but again, these are some a few features Apple rolls out in its devices to justify its outlandish prices.

The speaker has the "power to rock the house", according to Schiller, and the aim is to make HomePod a potent assistant for news, messages, weather, traffic, home controls and more. The Apple HomePod won't be commercially available until December, so there could be changes to it by then.

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One was a new US$349 smart "HomePod" home speaker to 'reinvent ' home audio, which will be available in the United Kingdom and in the USA in December.

That's not to say Apple's new speaker will definitely be a hit, just to say that first impressions are often hilariously wrong. Siri can help the user choose music (what AAPL called the speaker's "musicologist"), including recommending tracks. Instead, it positioned the product as a more of a smart speaker that is wedded to Apple Music and happens to also have other capabilities thanks to its Siri integration. It starts shipping later this year in the USA, United Kingdom and Australia.

Ok, so while it's a bit of a risky strategy, it's probably the right one for Apple. The HomePod will cost $349, which is much more expensive than the $180 Echo and the $130 Home.

In lieu of those skills, Apple is banking on HomePod's superior audio quality to stand out from the competition.

It's here that a lot of attention naturally remains too because of the high profile success of the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

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