New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

Craig Federighi Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering demonstrated the person-to-person Apple Pay feature

iOS 11 will give the new iPad Pro improved multitasking and file management capabilities.

HomePod will support HomeKit, Apple's smart home platform, but HomeKit has been pretty underwhelming, even three years after introducing the application programming interface (API).

Siri, the company's almost-forgotten, voice-activated assistant, has always been outdone and eclipsed by Amazon and Google's hardware assistants. Microsoft is partnering with third-party speaker manufacturers to bring its own assistant, Cortana, to homes.

But Apple should embrace more mass-market prices in new product categories. And it would mark an effort by Apple to catch up with Amazon and Google. The US, the United Kingdom and Australia go first in December.

Samsung doubled the number of wearable devices shipped compared with the previous year, but it's still at fourth overall, at less than 5 percent, just ahead of Garmin.

Apple unveiled its home speaker during WWDC 2017 on Monday.

"There is so much momentum building around these speakers that it would be hard for Apple not to come out with one", said industry analyst Patrick Moorhead of Moor Insights & Strategy. Other high-end systems, on the other hand, aren't connected and smart. But so far, interest has been strongest among gamers, developers and hardware makers rather than everyday users.

Apple stock was down nearly 1%, near 154.10, in afternoon trading on the stock market today. Finally, the HomePod has been designed for use with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs. These devices will only keep the most recent messages in local storage.

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"I thought they would just be laying the ground work for the 3-D mapping chip", today, he says, referring to potential future custom silicon in Apple devices, perhaps in an iPhone 8.

Users can send money, via a debit card, to a friend's Apple Pay cash card. Before, transactions had been limited to products and services from businesses and institutions.

The new version of Apple's mobile operating system has received a series of updates, including an update to Siri.

Apple refreshed its Mac computer lineup with the latest Kaby Lake processors from Intel (INTC), faster graphics processors, and speedier and higher-capacity solid-state drives. It will block videos that start playing automatically, for instance, and can also prevent ads from following and profiling users. The browser is also adding "intelligent" tracking prevention in order to cut down on ads that follow you around the Internet. It will not block the ads themselves, though. Yet it isn't as bulky as the 12.9-inch model.

A preview of a new high-powered iMac Pro desktop, due to be released later this year, was also teased.

Apple is introducing a 10.5-inch iPad Pro in an attempt to revive interest in its once hot-selling line of tablets.

The new iMacs start at about $1,300. The first, Siri Face, uses machine learning to provide the wearer with useful information, like pulling up passes from the wallet app for events, offering traffic reports for a daily commute, or showing photos from the same date the previous year.

The watch can communicate with some gym equipment to share data between the two - like your heart rate or the treadmill's incline.

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