HomePod Pre-Orders Begin Friday But Will Ship Missing Crucial Features

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Apple CEO Tim Cook launched the company's new smart speaker at its annual conference in June 2017.

Apple has announced it will release their long-awaited new product, HomePod, on 9 February and that preorders for the device will start this Friday, 26 January.

The HomePod will be first released in the United States, UK, and Australia, followed by France and Germany in Spring. With Siri News, you'll be able to say " Hey Siri, play the news" and the digital assistant will immediately read the news. Apple is marketing the device as an accessory for its Apple Music subscription streaming service.

In a press release, Apple's senior vp of worldwide marketing Philip Schiller called the HomePod a "magical new music experience" from the Cuppertino-based company, adding that it has a "simple, attractive design that is so much fun to use".

Despite the delay to its launch, Apple's HomePod does have one major advantage over many of its current rivals as this speaker features top-end sound quality. - Apple has made it clear they want to stand apart from similar concepts by offering rich audio and the power of Siri's artificial intelligence.

Apple's HomePod will come in White and Space Grey, and thanks to its built-in HomeKit support, it'll allow you to control smart appliances around your home, even by using your iPhone from another location. This feature - where several speakers throughout the home all play the same music at the same time - will be added via a software update later this year.

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Though, Apple has announced partnerships with ABC News, SBS News, 7 News and Fox Sports News to deliver audio headlines through Siri on the HomePod.

"O$3 nly after "Hey Siri" is recognized locally on the device will any information be sent to Apple servers, encrypted and sent using an anonymous Siri identifier", Apple said in its announcement.

Apple focus on the device will be its audio quality.

On Tuesday, the tech giant said its new smart speaker will hit stores on Friday, February 9.

If you're thinking that the Apple HomePod might be some return to form for the iPod line, you're dead wrong.