Geared Up: Apple HomePod, iOS 11 and all the important stuff from WWDC

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The keynote speech at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference was 2-and-a-half hours long, but they packed a world’s worth of news into that time.

A new smart speaker, updates to iOS, changes to the Apple Watch and much, much more were announced during the event. We break down all the news and tell you what you really need to know on this episode of Geared Up.

On the hardware front, the company announced a new iPad Pro, a new iMac Pro and a completely new device called the HomePod, a smart speaker to rival the likes of Amazon’s Echo and the Google Home.

The big draw of the HomePod is its audio specs, which Apple touts as best in class. It uses spatial awareness to adjust audio depending on where the speaker is in a room, and Apple smart assistant Siri acts as a “musicologist” in the device. It can also be used to control Apple HomeKit devices.

All those perks come with a hefty price tag: the HomePod runs $349, while Amazon Echo is priced at $180, and Google Home is $109. Geared Up co-host Andru Edwards says it could be a game changer for Apple, but Todd Bishop isn’t so convinced.

On the software front, Apple announced the details of two operating system updates — iOS 11 and MacOS High Sierra, as well as changes to the Apple Watch with watchOS 4.

Once iPhones start upgrading to iOS 11 this fall, users will notice a stream of new features, including an automatic Do Not Disturb feature that’s designed to stop drivers from being distracted by their phone. The company also announced several new augmented and virtual reality integrations, including AR capabilities on mobile devices and VR integrations on laptops and desktops.

Listen to our full breakdown above, or download it as an MP3. Don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts, and subscribe to Andru’s Gear Live channel to watch us record the show live every week. 

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