Apple finally reveals its Siri-powered Amazon Echo killer

We just got our first look at Apple’s long-awaited Amazon Echo rival.

Following months of rumors and speculation about the Siri-powered home speaker, Apple finally confirmed the device, called HomePod, during WWDC in San Jose. 

Like Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home speakers, users interact with the new device via voice commands. 

“This is a chance to reinvent music,” said Apple’s marketing SVP Phil Schiller. “Why hasn’t this happened yet? First it needs to rock the house. Second, it needs to be spatially aware. Third, it needs to be really fun to use and have a built in musicologist.”

It has a 6-microphone array so you can say “Hey Siri”, just like you would “Alexa…” on an Echo.

Siri’s mainly used to control music, but there other domains that Siri is well-versed in:

If you’ve got HomeKit devices connected to it, you can also use Siri voice commands to control them as well. For example, “Hey Siri, turn up the temperature.”

Most importan to

The speaker is one of the most significant new pieces of hardware to make its debut at WWDC in recent memory. At its annual developer conference, Apple typically shows off new software releases — updates to iOS, MacOS, watchOS, and tvOS — not new hardware, though it has introduced new Macs at the show in the past. 

The speaker, however, is a completely new category for the electronics giant, which wants to claim a bigger presence in its customers’ living rooms. 

HomePod won’t be available until later this year for $349 in white or space gray. It’ll start shipping December in the U.S. HomePod will come out in the rest of the world next year.

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