Apple has announced a newer version of its HomePod Smart Speaker, the $ 99 HomePod Mini – a smaller version of the speaker, which will reduce the original model to a more compact size.
Similar to the full-size Homepod, the Homepod Mini still features a mesh fabric exterior in black and white, along with a small display above to show Siri wave appearance and volume controls. The new model is smaller, spherical in shape than the original one, and features a main driver, two passive radiators and an “acoustic waveguide” at the bottom.
The new Homepod Mini has an Apple S5 chip that allows “computational audio” processing to adjust how your music sounds 180 times per second. Multiple homepod mini speakers can sync music and add “smart” stereo when placed in a single room. Apple is also using the U1 chips that launched last year’s iPhones to create a better handoff experience later this year.
Also coming later this year: Apple’s promised support for third-party music services, including Pandora, Amazon Music and iHeat Radio – but not particularly spotty.
Apple has also launched a new “intercom” feature that allows users with multiple homepod devices across different homes to communicate across the house. Intercom messages also appear on connected iPhones, iPods, and Apple watches (although they do not play as loud as they did on the Homepod Mini).
When the original HomePod first launched in 2018 it would cost 9,349, which is a lot more expensive than Amazon’s Echo or Google Home speakers. That high price, combined with the original Apple-only limitations (which only worked with Apple Music, Apple is now only fixing this fall with iOS 14), has become a tough sale, especially with the cheaper and more capable Google and Amazon alternatives.
While Apple is finally cutting the price of the original HomePod (which now costs $ 199 on sale), it is still priced. The new HomePod Mini helps to change that by offering similar features to the original, but at a much higher price.
Homepod is not just a smart speaker so this is a very big deal – It serves as a central hub For any HomeKit devices, it allows users to control things like their lights or doors when they are not at home, as well as enable automation features for Apple’s home app. A more accessible homepod will not only provide Apple with more ways to bring Siri and Apple music into people’s homes, it will help expand Apple’s overall presence as part of your smart home setup.
The HomePod Mini costs $ 99. Pre-orders start on November 6th and shipping on November 16th.
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