Janko Roettgers reports: Apple is taking on Amazon Echo and Google Home: The company announced a new voice-controlled speaker during its WWDC developer conference in San Jose, Calif. Monday. Dubbed HomePod, the new speaker features voice control and spatial awareness to adapt the sound to different rooms.
“It will reinvent home audio,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
HomePod will cost consumers $349. The speaker will ship in December in the U.S., UK and Australia, and will be available in additional markets next year.
HomePod uses the company’s A8 chip, which Apple also uses for its mobile devices. The speaker will use an array of 6 microphones for voice control via Siri, and 7 tweeters for audio playback.
In many ways, HomePod will be able to do the same things as an Amazon Echo or Google Home, including playing back podcasts, setting reminders, checking sports scores, translation and controlling internet-connected devices. There’s no word yet on support for third-party services, or ways for developers to adapt their services for HomePod … (read more)