HomePod Mini: 3 cool new features on Apple’s smart speaker and how to use them

Apple’s new HomePod Mini is about half the size of the original HomePod, but brings new Siri features.

Screenshot / Apple

This is part of the story Apple Event, Complete coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

When Apple unveiled new HomePod Mini Last week (together iphone 12 Lineup) introduced a litany of next level features aimed at competing with it Google Home, Nest audio And the Amazon family Echo speakers. Not only this but also compact HomePod Mini $ 99 Price Tag to make Siri Powered Smart Speaker Is more affordable than HomePod ($ 299), It also includes an array of new features that is also a full-size HomePod ($ 262 in back market) And there is a shortage of rival speakers, such as a pair of two HomePod minis in the same room.

We haven’t yet gotten our hands on the HomePod Mini, and it won’t be available for preorder until November 6 (the device ships and goes on sale November 16), but here’s a look at the biggest new features Apple announced. , As well as how you will use them.

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1. Automatically add two HomePods for stereo sound

One of the downsides to using a smart speaker is that you lose the three-dimensional sound you’d get from a stereo, which splits the music into two channels (surround-sound uses even more) And conversely plays sounds at different levels on the speakers. Other smart speakers allow you to pair in their respective apps, but Apple says that when you put two HomePod minis in the same room, the speakers recognize each other and automatically move left and right to create a stereo pair. Are separated into channels.

How you will use it: If you choose two of Apple’s new smart speakers (or are lucky enough to receive them as a holiday gift), you can place them on a bookshelf, end table, or desk, and the speaker will understand each other’s presence and Will ask if you would like to add them to the stereo.

Why it’s good: Smart speaker settings are notoriously confusing and difficult to navigate, especially when setting up stereo pairing. Seems no less than Seven steps to do this on Google Home, for example. This can be further streamlined.

Two HomePod minis can be detected when they are in the same room and automatically in the left and right channels for stereo sound.

Screenshot / Apple

2. Intercom broadcasts its announcements on HomePod Mini and more

HomePod Mini’s new intercom feature means no more shouting to announce dinner. Instead, get everyone’s attention by broadcasting a message that runs on HomePods and appears as a push notification Ios Appliances scattered throughout the house.

how it works: HomePod, Record Messages on iPhone ($ 699 on Amazon), Ipad ($ 260 in the back market) Or Mac, and Siri will run it on all your HomePods as well as AirPods of household members ($ 129 on Amazon) And will send a push notification to home iOS devices and Macs.

How you will use it: Say “Hey Siri, tell everyone …”, then include the message you want to broadcast throughout the house.

Why it’s good: Google Home ($ 99 at Walmart) Have a similar feature Called broadcasting And Alexa devices announced, But Apple’s intercom feature transcends smart home devices and pings the devices that people pay the most attention to: their phones and tablets.

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3. Present-sensing auto-magically connects your HomePod Mini and phone

Later this year, Apple says, when you bring a compatible iPhone next to the HomePod Mini, you’ll be able to perform “hands-off” music with visual, sound, and haptic (vibration) signals, which are interconnected. Create a strong feeling. Devices.

how it works: HomePod Mini does the same Ultra-wideband chip Apple is included in the iPhone 11 and 12 series, which theoretically allows devices to feel the distance between each other more accurately than other technologies such as Bluetooth.

Thanks to Apple’s new (as of 2019) U1 ultra-wideband chip, the HomePod Mini can detect a nearby iPhone and interact with it using animations, sounds, and vibrations.

Screenshot / Apple

How you will use it: Suppose you are listening to a playlist on AirPods connected to your iPhone, but you want to play music out loud on the HomePod Mini. You’ll walk on the HomePod Mini, unlock your phone and signal to “sling” the music with animations, sounds and vibrations to confirm the transaction.

Why it’s good: Ultra-wideband technology is fairly new, and device makers are just beginning to scratch the surface of possibilities.

For more Apple tips and tricks, see These 13 are new features for iOS 14, These nine hidden iPhone features we just discovered And These troubleshooting steps to fix a buggy iPhone.

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