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Video: Apple will be launching its Siri-powered speakers soon
January 24, 2018 | 10:51 AM
by Gautam Viswanathan, [email protected]
 
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Muscat: Apple Inc.'s long-awaited HomePod smart speaker is to be launched on February 9, the tech giant has announced.

Although it was scheduled to be unveiled to the public in December 2017, Apple have now confirmed that their speaker — which is expected to rival similar offerings from Amazon and Google — will now be available to purchase from February onward.

Priced at US$350 (approx. OMR135), and standing at seven inches, the HomePod also features Siri, Apple's signature speech interpretation and recognition system, which means users can give commands to Siri through the HomePod, allowing them to send messages, play music and podcasts, and check live updates on the news, traffic and weather, to name a few of the interactive features on the new device.

Powered by Siri, users will be able to use the HomePod to send messages, play music and podcasts, and check live updates on the news, traffic and weather, to name a few of the interactive features on the new device.


"HomePod is a magical new music experience from Apple. It brings advanced audio technologies like beam-forming tweeters, a high-excursion woofer and automatic spatial awareness, together with the entire Apple Music catalogue and the latest Siri intelligence, in a simple, beautiful design that is so much fun to use," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

"We're so excited for people to get HomePod into their homes, apartments and businesses to hear it for themselves. We think they will be blown away by the audio quality," he added. "The team has worked to give Siri a deeper knowledge of music so that you can ask to play virtually anything from your personal favourites to the latest chart-topping releases, simply by saying 'Hey Siri'."

In addition, the HomePod will automatically be able to tune into most radio stations around the world, as well as cloud-based music content, offering listeners a plethora of listening options to choose from.

Although the release of the HomePod has been expected for some time since Apple announced it last June, its delay saw its competitor, Amazon, sell tens of millions of pieces of its speaker — the Echo — during the recent Christmas period.

In addition, fellow tech giants Google are also ramping up the advertising on their new Google Assistant, following the December release of their Home Max, a large speaker which has features similar to the HomePod.

Furthermore, while the HomePod will be released this February, users will need to wait for a while before more advanced features such as multi-room audio, which are already available on similar gadgets from its rivals.

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