Siri, speakers and software: Highlights from the Apple show

Guillermo Lane
June 10, 2017

With an upcoming software update for iPhones and iPads, Siri will learn your habits based on what articles you might be reading, for instance.

Still, the Apple Watch hasn't been a smash hit, fueling worries that the company's ability to transfix customers had waned after the 2011 death of co-founder Steve Jobs.

Although Siri would likely be a centerpiece of a smart speaker from Apple, Moorhead said the device's design, colors and acoustics will also likely be focal points because the company has a long history of making elegantly designed products.

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

On top of these big new changes iOS 11 is also set to arrive with a whole load of smart extras, such as smaller file sizes for photos, multi-room AirPlay for your home speaker setup and the ability to send money to friends using Apple Pay and iMessage.

Ok. This is the biggie for existing iPhone and iPad users. The company "can't afford to yield valuable real-estate in the heart of people's homes to Amazon, Google and others", said Geoff Blaber, research analyst at CCS Insight. (Many reviewers have suggested that the current incarnation of Apple's assistant already trails competitors in key respects.) "This is the start of the AI wars", he said.

Apple's new iMacs are getting brighter displays and graphics capabilities, which Apple says makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

The money can be stored on a virtual card and used with Apple Pay, which Apple expects will be accepted in 50 percent of US retailers by the end of the year.

Apple is expected to announce plans for a speaker on Monday. It will not actually block ads, though.

Apple unveiled new hardware, including a Siri-powered speaker, and previewed upcoming iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch features as the company's Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off Monday. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops. The new iOS also features a new keyboard that gives access to punctuation features by flicking down on keys, allowing for faster typing. Apple also laid some groundwork for augmented reality, the projection of digital features onto real-world surroundings, by giving app developers tools for incorporating AR into their products. There's also no word yet on support for third-party services, or ways for developers to adapt their services for HomePod. So far, the service has limited payments to purchases of products and services from companies and other organizations.

The new iOS software is available now for developers and also comes with voice enhancements and new features for Siri such as translation from English to a number of common languages. Later, BuzzFeed News had reported that both brands have finalised a deal.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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