Apple announces smaller HomePod Mini smart speaker

Wednesday, 14 Oct, 2020

The HomePod mini integrates with iOS to let you search your calendar, check the weather and even find your missing iPhone.

The HomePod Mini for starters is a cute, little round boy. The HomePod Mini uses Apple's Siri, the Amazon Echo uses Amazon's Alexa, and the Nest Home uses Google Assistant. "The result is an audio experience unheard of in a speaker this size". The heart of this, according to Apple, is the inclusion of its S5 chip - which allows for something the company calls computational audio. It has a similar backlit touch surface and yes, it lights up when you wake Siri from its slumber.

Multiple HomePod minis can be placed together to stream audio to various rooms in flawless sync. There is a mesh fabric that wraps around the speaker and covers the single driver unit, two passive radiators, and an acoustic waveguide at the bottom. For one, it costs $US469 ($655). These device makes smart home too simple. It will also include a U1 chip to enable Ultra Wideband support.

A new Intercom feature offers a quick and easy way for family members to connect with each other at home. For example, you will be able to quickly handoff music playback from your iPhone by bringing it close to the HomePod Mini. The original HomePod managed to impress audiophiles but its high price served as a high barrier of entry to new users looking for a new smart speaker.

At a time when Amazon was going smaller and cheaper with its Echo devices, Apple was going plump and pricey.

As the name suggests, the HomePod mini is just 3.3 inches tall.

The device is a smaller version of the company's HomePod speaker, offering integration with Siri, high-quality sound, and an overhauled design. HomePod mini will also work with other music services like Amazon Music, apart from Apple Music.

Obviously, HomePod mini will work with Apple Music. Apple says that personal requests - requests that use your data, for example - will only work when the device knows you're home. Of course, it looked impressive on stage but seeing as this was a virtual event, we'll have to wait until we have a HomePod Mini in our hands to test it out for ourselves.