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Apple HomePod keeps Siri voice commands for Apple Music

Business Insider has chosen its words carefully in an article about Apple’s new smart speaker: ‘Spotify won’t work with Siri on Apple’s HomePod’.

It’s sparked by a message published by Apple for app developers about the SiriKit tools for HomePod: “With the intelligence of Siri, users control HomePod through natural voice interaction. And with SiriKit, users can access iOS apps for Messaging, Lists, and Notes.”

Which is to say that these are the only categories of apps that will be able to use the HomePod speaker’s voice-control features. That doesn’t mean that the device won’t be able to play music from non-Apple streaming services (like Spotify) – their iOS apps will be able to use it as an external speaker by using Apple’s AirPlay feature.

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Amazon and Google launch smart-speaker flash sales

Don’t underestimate Amazon and Google’s determination to get their smart speakers – the Echo family and Google Home respectively – into as many homes as possible.

Amazon has launched an aggressive sale for the Echo as part of its ‘Prime Day’ event, halving the main Echo’s price to $89.99 in the US, while offering a 30% discount on its Echo Dot to $34.99.

Google, meanwhile, has launched its own flash-sale on its Home speaker, knocking $30 off the price to make it $99.

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Apple Music gets more social as HomePod speaker debuts

As expected, there was a new milestone for Apple Music subscribers, new features for Apple’s streaming service, and a smart-speaker unveiled to boost its prospects in the home at last night’s WWDC event in San Jose.

There were some surprises though, not least the name of Apple’s new device: rather than the ‘Siri Speaker’ of pre-WWD predictions, its official name is HomePod: a direct link to the music hardware that kickstarted the resurgence of modern Apple.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. Apple Music’s new milestone is 27 million subscribers, up from 20 million in December 2016. That means the rate of growth is increasing slowly, from around a million net new subs a month to around 1.16 million.