For the last few weeks, rumors have been swirling regarding the expected announcement of an Apple Siri speaker device that was on par with Amazon's Echo and Google's Home. Those rumors were confirmed today as Apple unveiled HomePod at WWDC 2017.
The device is a seven-inch cylindrical speaker powered by Apple's A8 processor. It contains a 20 mm Apple-designed woofer and seven tweeters that surround the base of the unit. These seven drivers intelligently channel sound to deliver the best acoustics no matter what the environment. Apple calls it "beamforming audio."
The HomePod uses spatial awareness to detect obstacles that are around it, such as walls. It then directs the sound through the tweeters in a way that optimizes music delivery. This according to Apple means that no matter where you place the HomePod, it will adapt to the physical environment to deliver the best sound.
It will also integrate with iCloud. Not only will it be able to play any songs or playlists in your library, but it's also capable of maintaining a dynamic playlist. You and your friends can add songs to a playlist from iOS without interrupting the music.
While Apple played up the music aspects of the HomePod in its presentation, the device will be capable of performing the everyday tasks that competing smart speaker devices perform such as retrieving the weather or reading news headlines. HomePod will integrate with your other Apple devices through iCloud to fetch appointments and reminders as well.
Additionally, it will integrate tightly to control HomeKit devices, so you can dim the lights or other such home automation tasks, using your voice. It will be accessible through the Home app on iOS, so you can access HomePod even while away.