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Apple Announces Smart Speaker, Device Upgrades, and iOS 11

Tech Giant Apple made several big announcements today at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference, taking place from June 5-9 in San Jose. Most of the news focused on the coming updates for its various operating systems, but CEO Tim Cook also introduced some new hardware.

However, the biggest hardware announcement may be Apple?EU?s new HomePod, a smart wireless speaker powered by the Siri AI that seems designed to compete with the likes of Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Home speaker. Apple’s speaker will be launching in the U.S., U.K., and Australia in December, with additional markets to come next year.

IOS Is the Big Winner

On the software side, both the tvOS and watchOS received minor updates. Apple also announced a new macOS, dubbed ?EU?High Sierra,?EU? that should please professional users as well as consumers. The upgrades made to iOS with the release of iOS 11 (pictured above) seemed to be the real showstoppers, though.

Among the new features of iOS 11 is the ability to make person-to-person payments through Apple?EU?s messaging app, thanks to new integration with the Apple Pay system. Meanwhile, Siri has a new voice, a new visual interface, the ability to perform task management, and a new translation feature that is still in beta. Apple is leaning into artificial intelligence with improved machine learning and on-device learning aimed at making Siri more predictive and proactive.

The control center, lock screen, and notification center are all getting major visual redesigns with an eye toward offering more information to the user. Apple’s navigation app is also getting an upgrade and will now be able to display floorplan-level maps within malls and airports for detailed navigation assistance.

IPad Gets Big Update

The mobile operating system will also get a new file management system that’s much more closely aligned with the traditional file…

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