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Apple launches the HomePod

Apple has recently launched its Siri-powered wireless speaker, the HomePod, at WWDC 2017.

According to the company, the new device delivers amazing audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio.

Designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs, HomePod provides deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music, said the iPhone-maker.

HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings. It is equipped with a custom A8 chip. It has six-microphone array with advanced echo cancellation enables Siri to understand people whether they are near the device or standing across the room, even while loud music is playing.

The device also has an automatic room-sensing technology, which allow it to quickly learn its position in a room, whether it’s in a corner, on a table or in a bookshelf, and within seconds, is perfectly optimized to deliver an immersive music listening experience wherever it is placed.

“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. “HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home.”

HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing. By saying, “Hey Siri, I like this song,” HomePod and Apple Music become the perfect musicologist, learning preferences from hundreds of genres and moods, across tens of thousands of playlists, and these music tastes are shared across devices. Siri can also handle advanced searches within the music library, so users can ask questions like “Hey Siri, who’s the drummer in this?” or create a shared Up Next queue with everyone in the home. HomePod, Apple Music and Siri deliver the best music experience in the home that streams ad-free directly to HomePod.

As a home assistant, HomePod is capable of sending messages, getting updates on news, sports and weather, or controlling smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights, close the shades or activate a scene. It can also provide remote access and home automations through the Home app on iPhone or iPad.

HomePod will be available for $349 (US) in white and space gray starting in December initially in Australia, the UK and the US. HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5s and later, running iOS 11.

* Pricing in Australia and the UK will be announced later this year.

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