Siri Speaker, New iPad Pro Rumored as Likely WWDC 2017 Hardware Debuts

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Siri Speaker, New iPad Pro Rumored as Likely WWDC 2017 Hardware Debuts

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference might have a surprise or two in store this year when it convenes June 5-7. According to several reports, Apple is planning to unveil both a new iPad Pro and a smart home assistant known as the Siri Speaker at the show. The move, if true, would be surprising, since the iPhone maker has in recent years only focused on software during its annual developers conference. Still, the hardware sounds interesting, since reports say that the speaker will support high-end audio and work with the Siri digital assistant. The iPad Pro might deliver a new design that could provide some hints at what Apple is planning for hardware experiences in the coming years. Read on for more about what Apple is planning for hardware at this year’s WWDC.

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The Siri Speaker Will Have Smart Assistant Features

Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri will play a critical role in the Siri Speaker experience, according to reports. Siri will be used to create calendar events and to-do lists, and will help users search the internet with just a voice command. Whether it’ll come with new features is unknown.

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An iPad Pro Update Will Include a New Screen Size

Apple’s iPad Pro update rumored for WWDC 2017 will include a new screen size. According to several reports, Apple is working on a version with a 10.5-inch screen. That would make it slightly larger than the 9.7-inch screen version of its current iPad Pro, but smaller than the 12.9-inch model.

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Siri Speaker Will Include a Touch Display for Context

Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said recently the Amazon Echo’s touch-screen-less design was a problem. His comments hinted that Apple’s Siri Speaker will include a touch-screen to provide contextual information based on user searches. The touch display also could be used to interact with apps.

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Apple Slimming Down the iPad Pro

The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is expected to have the same-sized chassis as the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, according to reports. The new design will be substantially thinner than existing tablets, with a slimmer bezel around the screen and, possibly, no physical home button under the screen (although there is some debate on that).

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Siri Speaker to Provide Full Smart-Home Control

The Siri Speaker will come with full smart-home control, according to several reports. Users will be able to interact with smart thermostats such as Nest, smart lights including Philips Hue and other smart devices that integrate with Apple’s HomeKit smart-home platform from the Siri Speaker.

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Look for an A10X Chip to Power iPad Pro

Apple’s newest iPad Pro reportedly will come with powerful components to help it keep pace with competitors including the Surface Pro. The device could offer the A10X chip and have better graphics performance than current Apple tablets. Apple also could include more RAM to further boost app performance.

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Siri Speaker Will Run iOS Apps

Siri Speaker likely will be powered by Apple’s iOS operating system. Since iOS also runs on other Apple devices that integration could mean developers can readily port apps to the Siri Speaker, which means a host of apps will be available at launch.

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There's Little Question iPad Pro Will Run iOS

There has been some debate over whether the iPad Pro, which is designed for corporate customers, should use the macOS rather than iOS to provide more functionality. But Apple has said it’s committed to iOS in all iPads. However, Apple could announce some new software features for iPad Pro at WWDC to appeal to corporate and power users.

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Siri Speaker Audio Will Be Top-Notch

While Apple hasn’t commented on any Siri Speaker plans, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo revealed recently that the device could ship with seven speakers and a sub-woofer, allowing it to deliver market-leading sound. Siri Speaker’s microphone would be omnidirectional to ensure solid listening to user commands.

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Will New iPad Pro Spell the End of the 9.7-Inch iPad Pro?

In a surprising move, Apple might announce at WWDC that the 10.5-inch iPad Pro replaces the 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Apple earlier this year unveiled a new 9.7-inch iPad, and reportedly wants to differentiate the iPad Pro. The best way to do that is by eliminating the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, according to reports.

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