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Apple announces $349 “HomePod” smart speaker

The much-anticipated Apple smart speaker is here. It’s just 7 inches tall and comes loaded with Siri intelligence. There are seven tweeters at the bottom of the device, surrounding a large speaker.

The device uses a powerful A8 chip, so that it can do things like analyze the sonic qualities of the room it’s in. It can detect, for instance, the vocal in a song, and project it in a special way (audio beam forming), Apple says.
Apple says HomePod can grab up to 40 million tracks from the cloud, using a “musicologist” to bring down tunes the user likes.

The device can also be used to control HomeKit-connected home devices, or request news and weather. Users can give commands like “turn the lights off.” They can control HomeKit’s “scenes” in the Home app by giving an audio command like “Movie Night.”

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