Enlarge (credit: Apple)

Apple announced this morning that the wait for its HomePod smart speaker is nearly over. HomePod will be available starting February 9, with preorders beginning Friday, January 26. The home speaker that houses the company’s virtual assistant Siri will initially be sold in the US, UK, and Australia, and will be available in France and Germany this spring.

The company first announced HomePod at last year’s WWDC with the hopes of releasing it in December for $349, ahead of the holiday season. However, that deadline came and went and those who wanted an Apple version of Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home were left waiting.

Apple’s announcement doesn’t detail anything we didn’t already know about HomePod. The cylindrical speaker is powered by Apple’s A8 chip and uses an array of six microphones to pick up your calls of “Hey, Siri” from across the room, even with music playing. It also uses real-time acoustic modeling, audio beam-forming, and echo cancellation to create a rich sound experience, and its spacial awareness feature lets it automatically adjust to produce the best sound for its location in your home.

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Source:: Ars Technica

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