The battle of the home speaker AI assistant is coming to Canada

The battle of the home speaker AI assistant is coming to Canada

Apple's Phil Schiller talks about the new HomePod speaker at WWDC.

Amazon's senior vice president of devices, David Limp, says that the company is open to talking with Apple and Google to put their respective smart assistants on the Amazon Echo, alongside Amazon Alexa. With Apple pricing the HomePod for $349, it's a tough sell compared to the $179 Amazon Echo or the $129 Google Home.

While HomePod is also equipped with the company's brand of artificial intelligence, Siri, the fact remains that its strongest point is its swift connection to Apple Music with the promise of playing songs from a library of up to 40 million titles.

HomePod, which is powered by Apple's voice assistant, Siri, is set to challenge Amazon's (AMZN) Echo. Apple says the sound quality will be second to none and that it features six microphones, which only listen to users when they say "Hey Siri". From there, the device will scan its environment, analyzing the acoustics so it could adjust the sound output based on where the speaker is, steering the music in the optimal direction.

The Apple HomePod is going to be made available initially in Australia, the United Kingdom and the USA, and that will be in December 2017. It, too, comes with a built-in speaker and voice controls through the smart assistant Google Assistant. Along with its new line of computer and laptops, the tech giant has also launched a screen-free computer, powered by Siri, which doubles down as a top-notch home audio device. Apple said that makes the Mac a great platform for development virtual-reality "experiences".

Apple has also announced a suite of other updates at its Worldwide Developers Conference in California, US. Although it seems like a nice starting price for a new product line, we must understand that it requires an Apple Music subscription costing at least $120 per year. Like other smart speakers, audio information isn't sent to Apple's cloud until this voice command has been issued, Apple said.

The HomePod now only supports Apple Music. And fortunately for Google and Amazon, Apple's Siri is widely seen as lagging behind the competition in both its quality and capabilities.

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