Amazon-Apple TV deal shows tough road to cooperation for tech rivals

Elizabeth Williams
June 6, 2017

Apple announced new iPad Pro models during its World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote.

Chief among them: a Siri-enabled speaker called HomePod, a brand new product category for Apple.

The HomePod was the final product announcement (the classic "one more thing") for this year's WWDC, and it stands as Apple's foray into the smart speaker market, which is now dominated by Amazon's Echo and Google's Google Home.

HomePod costs $349 to start and will be available later this year. It also works more accurately with the Apple Pencil, offering an industry-leading 20 milliseconds.

Tapping Apple's Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. That's undoubtedly do to the fact you need a Tango-equipped phone with an array of cameras and sensors to power AR experiences. There's also a new Files application similar to macOS' Finder or Windows Explorer.

All of the iMacs are getting refreshed with brighter screens, double the max memory, and USB-C ports for faster data transfer. Apple has also revealed its iMac Pro, which is simply a beast.

Drivers will still be able to use Apple CarPlay, of course, in cars that are equipped with it. Apple CarPlay is a vehicle interface specifically created to allow drivers to hear and respond to text messages using voice commands and to safely use other iPhone features while's available from a number of automobile manufacturers, including General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, BMW and Honda, and works through a computer screen in the auto. "The MacBook Pro 13" and 15" models feature up to 4.1GHz Turbo Boost, as fast as 3.2GB/s SSD read speed, 500-nit Retina displays, and up to 10 hours of battery life.

The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod's owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played.

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As part of iOS 11, Apple Pay will give users the ability to make peer-to-peer payments, like Square and PayPal, directly from any iOS device. Or if someone texts you about owing money, it will ask if you want to pay using Apple Pay.

Digital assistant Siri has been given an overhaul, and her speech has been updated from the slightly stilted robo speech of yesterday to take on a more human-sounding natural cadence.

Apple is doing some interesting things with the way it deals with photos in iOS 11. GST for the 64GB with Wi-Fi model, and starts at RRP A$1,179 inc.

There was also a demo of an ARKit-equipped iPad scanning a document, highlighting it won't be all fun and games with the new platform. That certainly sounds like what ARKit has to offer.

While it's been rumoured for a number of months now that Apple is interested in the augmented reality space, at WWDC today we got our first glimpse of the tech giant's initial step into AR.

Apple's augmented reality is tipped to become "the largest augmented reality platform in the world". The demonstration foreshadows the narrative capabilities with VR, as well as how hard it is to not trip while one of those sets is on your face.

The first major announcement was the launch of the Amazon Prime video app to AppleTV. While I've only spent a brief period of time with Tango, I'd say the experience is very comparable to Apple's ARKit. Let us know your thoughts below!

Other reports by VgToday

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