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Siri, speakers and software: Highlights from the Apple show

Apple also used its annual developer meeting in San Jose, California - its largest ever with some 5,000 people attending - to offer hints about so-called augmented reality technology.

To be "smart", the latest product in Apple's portfolio, known as HomePod, comes with a A8 microprocessor chip, the same power engine in the technology company's flagship iPhone smartphone and iPad tablet computer.

We got a chance to see the HomePod immediately after Apple's WWDC keynote in San Jose, but we weren't allowed to touch it.

As part of the announcement at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple touted upgrades for the Siri personal assistant in the fall update to the IOS mobile operating system. Cook has always been bullish about the prospects for augmented reality, and Apple is working on smart glasses, people familiar with the plans have said. In 2015, Amazon went so far as to pull listings for the Apple TV from its online store. Users can also play or pause tracks directly from the speaker. Or that you're telling it what you want to hear-even from across the room.

"We completely reimagined how a speaker should make music in the home," Apple added. Thousands are expected to attend the event.

There are number of small changes in High Sierra. It will block videos that start playing automatically, for instance, and can also prevent ads from following and profiling users.

Apple was a bit more coy about the features that will set HomePod apart from its competition. Categories, faces and favorites will be synchronized across devices. Sadly, it won't be available until December 2017. Apple says that will mean 4K video files up to 40 percent smaller than with H.264.

"Those are the features on the Mac that most of us have been wanting on the iPad for at least three years", Creative Strategies' Bajarin said. There's also support for multiroom audio with AirPlay 2. Augmented reality is the blending of the physical and virtual worlds. Planned Mac updates will include refreshed versions of the MacBook and MacBook Pro with faster Intel Corp. processors, Bloomberg News reported earlier this month. It will have a bump in megahertz.

Apple is also bringing the ability to send money to friends or other people through its payment service, Apple Pay.

Siri, meanwhile, is getting a new voice.

Apple is introducing a number of effects into the Live Photos feature. The phone will block most notifications to reduce temptations behind the wheel. You won't get any notifications while in the vehicle, and if you look at your phone, you'll see an alert reminding you that you won't receive notifications while on the road.

One of the most anticipated reveals was the new Apple smart speaker called the "Home Pod". For HomePod it's Siri, and for Amazon Echo it's Alexa. HomePod uses seven beam-forming tweeters as well as an upward-facing woofer for audio playback, and an array of six microphones for voice control.

Amazon vs Apple: Is The Feud Calming Down?

There is one certainty: Because a smart speaker can effectively keep you within a company's ecosystem, smart speakers are about to become a battleground, with the four most valuable companies in the world (Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon, in that order) all attempting to capture market share in the vast majority of homes that don't have a smart speaker.



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