Apple’s HomePod Mini smart speaker might be its best smart home idea so far

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Apple

After months of rumors and speculation, Apple announced on Tuesday A new, smaller smart speaker, called the HomePod Mini iPhone centric Competition.

Apple’s HomePod risked putting a $ 349 price tag, great sound, and white ring on its tablet in 2018. Since then, Apple has not made much progress in the smart home, despite some useful iterations on HomePod’s features through periodic software updates, even Amazon and Google across the board with Alexa and Google Assistant products. Continue to expand its audience. It turned into a smaller, smarter speaker today.


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How Big is HomePod Mini?

The HomePod Mini is much smaller than its predecessor. Wrapped in a mesh fabric, it measures 3.3 inches long and 3.9 inches wide (84 mm by 98 mm) and weighs 0.76 pounds (345 grams). By comparison, Amazon’s new, similarly rounded fourth-gen Echo dot Is 3.5 inches long, and Google has a puck size Nest mini 1.65 inches long.

Like the original HomePod, the Mini has a backlit touch surface for volume and Siri control. It will be available in white and space gray, priced at $ 99 (£ 99, AU $ 149). This is the same price as the latest (spherical) Amazon Echo And Google’s brand new Nest audio, Both of which are larger than the HomePod Mini.

What does a HomePod Mini sound like?

The possibility of a smaller speaker means that the sound quality will be less impressive than the stellar original HomePod (We will test this in our upcoming review) However, Apple equipped the HomePod Mini, which it calls Computational Audio. This means that it can recreate itself more than 180 times per second to optimize thrust and dynamic range. Google’s Nest Audio and Nest Minis do real-time audio tuning thanks to their machine learning chip.

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Apple

Streaming services for the HomePod Mini will include Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Radio.com and TuneIn. Pandora and Amazon Music are slated for future updates, though Spotify was clearly missing from Apple’s presentation. Two companies Engaged in a antitrust investigation in Europe, Filed last year by Spotify’s complaint.

Other notable sound features include support for multiroom audio and stereo pairing for two HomePod minis, common to other smart speakers. Two HomePod minis can also be paired with two in your Apple TV for the same surround sound Echo Studio Speakers and a fire TV.

What does HomePod Mini add to HomePod?

HomePod Mini brings some new smart home features to HomeKit. Apple announced an intercom feature, such as Peek out On amazon and Broadcasting On Google Smart Speaker, you can send a voice message from one speaker to another or to several rooms. Other housemates may also ask Siri to send a reply to the broadcast.

What is impressive about Apple’s intercom system is the variety of devices it can access. Intercom Messages also work with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, CarPlay and AirPods. When you can use Google’s broadcast from a phone, you can’t broadcast it to anyone and not completely excluded from the Amazon game is an Alexa based phone.

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HomePod Mini in Space Gray.

Apple / screenshot by Mike Sorrentino / Tips Clear

CarPlay and HomePod Mini work together to populate things like navigation based on your latest voice searches. HomePod Mini also works with your iPhone, so that you can provide an update with a voice command in all your apps.

When it comes to privacy, Apple promises that nothing you say is sent out of your home unless you tap for Siri or arrive via voice. You can also choose whether Apple saves your audio recording. Personal requests will only work if your iPhone is at home with you, and requests are saved with an anonymous ID.

ultra wideband

Apple continues to assure consumers that its products will respect the privacy of their owners. Apple added a U1 chip last year iphone 11, And today we got a better look at what that chip means for smart and security around your home.

The U1 chip enables ultra wideband communication between equipped devices, including the new HomePod Mini. The UWB measures the distance between two devices by calculating the time of the radio wave to pass between them. This method is very accurate compared to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Ultra wideband can not only accurately detect objects, but it can also transmit data. What HomeKit means is not yet clear, as Apple had nothing to say about UWB and smart home devices. In addition to the U1 chip, the HomePod Mini also works with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 4 and The thread, A network protocol for low-power IoT devices.

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Apple

Still sir

Even with a new design, price improvements and smart software, there is still the issue of Siri as an assistant. Compared to the constantly evolving and personal voice assistants from Google and Amazon, Siri falls short.

Interaction just seems less natural, and often simple requests are not as intuitively handled as Google or Alexa. Apple has improved Siri over the years, But still, the three of us have spent hours together and found out that there are some things Siri just can’t do.

The HomePod Mini will be available starting November 6, with the beginning of November. Keep an eye on Tips Clear for a full review of Apple’s latest smart speaker starting November 16, comparing it and more in the coming days.

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