Apple HomePod mini: All you need to know
HomePod goodness at just $99 (Rs 9,990)
At its fall 2020 event today, alongside the new iPhone 12 series and iPhone 12 Pro series, Apple has announced a new smart speaker, HomePod mini. Essentially, HomePod is a smaller version of the original HomePod announced back in 2018 with a few changes and improvements. What’s interesting with the new model is that, compared to the previous version, not only is there a difference in the shape and size, but also the cost. And with that, Apple aims to increase the reach of its smart speakers to a bigger audience.
Here’s all you need to know about the all-new Apple HomePod mini.
1. The HomePod mini features a mesh fabric design, much like the original HomePod. Standing at 3.3 inches, the speaker comes in a small spherical shape and offers touch controls on top for quick and easy access to different functionalities like play/pause music, adjust volume, skip tracks, and trigger Siri.
2. On the inside, the smart speaker has the Apple S5 chip, which according to Apple, utilizes advanced software to analyze unique characteristics of music and applies tuning models to optimize the loudness and the dynamic range. Moreover, it also helps in controlling the movement of the driver and passive radiators — all of which help it in driving sound on a smaller footprint.
3. To offer an immersive 360-degree experience, the new HomePods mini features the same acoustic waveguide as the HomePod to direct the flow of sound. As a result, users can put the smart speaker anywhere in a room and still get a consistent sound.
4. The HomePod mini comes with support for Siri, which lets you do a bunch of operations using your voice. To ensure better user experience and interaction, the new HomePods come with a total of four microphones. Of these, the speaker has three microphones aligned in an array to listen to user input, while the fourth microphone helps in canceling out the noise to improve voice detection on the speaker.
5. Building upon the last point, Apple’s voice assistant is now even smarter on the new HomePods. If you are an iPhone user, Siri now provides a more personalized and integrated experience by recognizing who is speaking and tailoring the results for their queries based on that.
6. If you own other Apple devices such as TV, Mac, or iPhone, you can take calls, listen to music, or improve the TV experience by connecting the speakers to your TV. For iPhone users, the smart speaker offers personalized listening suggestions and gives instant controls on the lock screen to control the playback without having to unlock the iPhone.
7. Home control and automation is another field where the HomePod mini can come in handy. You can use the smart speaker, and by simply using your voice commands, trigger Siri to control the smart devices in your home.
8. HomePod Mini works with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com, and TuneIn. It will also work with music platforms like Pandora and Amazon Music in the coming months.
9. If you get multiple HomePods at your home, you can use the all-new Intercom feature to connect with any other house member and communicate your message over the speaker. When a message is sent across, the same is automatically played on the designated HomePod speaker. Moreover, you can also use two speakers in a stereo configuration to get more out of them.
10. Last, but certainly not the least, the HomePod mini takes into consideration the privacy and security concerns of its users. And to ensure the same, it suggests that it is only when Siri is triggered that any information is to Apple servers.
Apple HomePod mini: Pricing and Availability
Apple HomePod mini It comes in two colors: white and silver. It is priced at $99 and will be available starting November 16, with pre-booking commencing from November 6.
In India, the HomePod mini carries a price tag of Rs 9,990 and will go on sale starting November 16.