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This week on AI: HomePod preorders kick off, iOS 11.3 details, sapphire maker sues Apple and more

This week's news revolved around new products from Apple, namely availability of the HomePod smart speaker and forthcoming updates to the company's major operating systems. Other developments include a lawsuit alleging Apple breached its contract with a sapphire material manufacturer.




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Everything you need to know:



  • Apple announced a start to preorders of its hotly anticipated HomePod speaker > >
  • Which kicked off on Friday ahead of general availability on Feb. 9 > >
  • The Siri-enabled device will lack a few promised features at launch, however, including stereo and multi-room support > >
  • Apple released the latest versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS this week with Meltdown and Spectre fixes > >
  • And issued a security patch for older macOS and Mac OS X versions > >
  • iOS 11.3 was teased with battery performance settings, ARKit 1.5 and new Animoji > >
  • But the first beta version did not include tools for setting CPU throttling features > >


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A roundup of all of our hottest stories this week:



Apple HomePod smart speaker preorders begin Friday, shipments start Feb. 9

HomePod preorders begin via Apple, smart speaker arrives Feb. 9

HomePod at launch lacks stereo linking and multiple-room support, features coming 'later this year'

Apple releases macOS High Sierra 10.13.3, iOS 11.2.5, watchOS 4.2.2, and tvOS 11.2.5

Apple issues Meltdown and Spectre fixes for older Mac operating systems

iOS 11.3 coming this spring with battery and performance settings, ARKit 1.5, new Animoji

Apple issues first developer beta for iOS 11.3 with new Animoji, Health Records, ARKit 1.5

Apple enables basic AirPlay 2 functionality in iOS 11.3, tvOS 11.3 betas

Apple's sapphire curse strikes again as glass material manufacturer sues over breach of contract

Apple CEO Tim Cook pops up in Canada to promote 'Everyone Can Code,' visit Shopify

Apple gains permits to move employees into five sections of Apple Park's 'Spaceship'

Video: See DJI's iOS-connected, foldable Mavic Air drone in action

Apple partners with Malala Fund to provide educational opportunities to more girls in developing countries