Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 set to usher in surprises

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 set to usher in surprises

While the WWDC is more about software development that power up Apple devices, the Cupertino-headquartered company is rumoured to be set to unveil new hardware, such as the much talked about Siri Speaker, a new iPad Pro and a fresh line of MacBooks.

Analysts and investors were watching Apple's annual developers conference for signs of what the company's next blockbuster product might be a decade after the introduction of its iPhone. Amazon, for example, had stopped selling Apple TV devices as well as Google's Chromecast a couple of years ago, and it even extended that ban to third-party electronics dealers.

Apple will roll out the free update sometime this fall. The HomePod is created to work along with Apple Music, so it essentially requires one to have a subscription to music streaming service, which will give access to over 40 million songs.

Moving away from the negativity surrounding several delays, Apple is expected to announce plans for its Siri voice assistant to work with a variety of apps but, according to Reuters, will look to focus on a small amount of features, rather than casting a wide net like Amazon has done with Alexa.

High Sierra features will include being able to stop unexpected videos from starting to play automatically when landing on web pages and "intelligent tracking prevention" that will prevent ads from following people about the internet.

In a nod to Amazon streaming fans, Apple is also bringing Amazon Prime to its Apple TV app.

The event began with an Apple video portraying what life might be like without an app store.

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For instance, Apple's large-size iPhones are now popular, after Apple initially resisted them despite strong sales for larger-display phones made by Samsung and other rivals.

Finally, Apple is preparing to launch a file management app for iOS 11.0 or later. It would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015. Although Apple Watch has emerged as the leader among smartwatches, it hasn't become a smash hit like the iPhone.

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. Siri, a digital assistant that has been on Apple's iPhone since 2011, will be voice activated to respond to requests for information and other help around the house.

Apple has released a new Siri-enabled speaker to compete with the Amazon Echo.

"Though Apple appears to be playing catch up with Amazon and Google, the primary casualty here may be Sonos". Only after gabbing on and on about its sound quality and elegance did he throw up a final slide of the limited range of non-music voice assistance HomePod can provide.

Siri's name recognition could play a role in HomePod adoption.

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