Amazon exec speaks on HomePod competition, Ice phone rumors

Why isn't there a HomePod app, where developers can build out extensions to the apps you already have on your iPhone and activate them on your HomePod?

Since HomePod will not hit the market until December, it is unlikely to catch much of the year-end holiday shopping wave and post big sales this year, according to Blau.

The good news is, Apple is going after a different segment of the market, namely, those looking for a high-quality connected home speaker.

A WSJ report cites a few Apple ex-employees and a developer who claimed that engineers at the company were dismayed at the launch of Amazon Echo, which showed Amazon had mastered a lot of things that Siri hadn't yet. Siri on HomePod can also look for details such as who the music artists are behind a particular song on play.

"You should be able to tell 'Alexa, ask Siri X, '" said David Limp, senior vice president of devices at Amazon.

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Limp has a strong interest in Apple's entry into the voice-activated, artificially-intelligent infused speaker space, which also includes Google Home and Microsoft's Cortana on the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker. "And if you take off the constraints (with servers, infrastructure and cost) what could you do?'" One of the things they came back with was the thought that "conversational speech was in our future and we could get there". Amazon got in first with the Echo, which is the most versatile system. You're a Pandora devotee? Amazon said Alexa now has around 13,000 "skills" and has increasingly migrated from the Echo onto other devices around the home. You could play out that same scenario for a wide variety of music services, including Spotify Amazon's own music service. With the release of the HomePod, that option seems to be off the table, but it remains to be seen whether Apple can make a dent in Sonos' dominant lead. Want access to your calendar?

New iMacs unveiled Monday at Apple's annual conference for software programmers are getting better displays and graphics capabilities. Given that there are millions of people for whom that situation is already the case, it's likely the HomePod will be a successful product for Apple. Customers will want voice interaction - we've wanted it ever since we saw Star Trek in the 1960s - and we want it to be intuitive and to work every time. The HomePod is a next level micro smart home device wrapped up in a seven-inch speaker that competes with Bose quality sound and incorporates next-gen technology to improve the user experience again and again.

Apple's HomePod speakers won't be arriving before fall.

Apple be saving some insights into HomePod for later this year when it is expected to unveil a tenth-anniversary edition of the iPhone. But it's not clear if it will. They cited, for instance, that Amazon doesn't have the same restrictions in place that Apple does, while adding how recent tests concluded Siri just isn't as accurate as platforms like Amazon's Alexa or Google Home.

In a statement, Apple said the HomePod is "a breakthrough wireless speaker for the home that delivers awesome audio quality and uses spatial awareness to sense its location in a room and automatically adjust the audio".

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