“One of Apple’s greatest strengths is timing. The company that’s hailed for innovation does not often invent things first — it didn’t create the first personal computer, the first digital music player or the first smartphone,” Farhad Manjoo reports for The New York Times. “Instead, Apple reinvents, slipping in and producing something more original than what we used to use.”

“On paper, Apple is aiming to pull the same trick with a device called HomePod,” Manjoo reports. “The $349 gadget — which Apple unveiled on Monday at its annual developer conference and will begin shipping in December — is inspired by the Amazon Echo, the smart speaker that houses Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa, and that seemed like a joke until many people (including yours truly) suddenly began to love it.”

“Apple’s version ticks all the Apple-y boxes: It’s very pretty; it’s about twice the price of the Echo; and it has much better sound, including the ability to create a kind of surround sound customized to your room,” Manjoo reports. “Yet the reinvention that matters here isn’t about a single device — it’s larger: The success of HomePod will really depend on whether Apple can reinvent itself.”

“Apple seems to be up for such reinvention. If you read between the lines at its keynote address on Monday, you would have noticed something. Again and again, like shamans calling on some new and powerful magic, Apple executives invoked the buzzwords of modern computing: ‘machine learning,’ ‘deep learning’ and ‘computer vision.’ Subtly but unmistakably, they were suggesting a shift.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, if they referred to machine learning once, they did it at least half a dozen times. Hopefully, Siri will soon be able to deliver a much more powerful experience than she can today.

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