Experience Incredible Audio Quality and Enhanced Siri Capabilities with a Safe and Secure Smart Home.
Alongside the announcement of Apple’s new HomePod, the company said it would enable a sensor dormant in the HomePod Mini since its launch in a forthcoming software update.
Apple unveiled the HomePod (2nd generation) – a powerful smart speaker that offers advanced audio capabilities and convenient new ways to manage everyday tasks and control the smart home. Featuring Apple innovations and Siri intelligence, HomePod delivers next-level acoustics and a groundbreaking listening experience with support for immersive Spatial Audio tracks. It comes in a stunning, acoustically transparent mesh fabric and a backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge, available in white and a new midnight color made with 100 percent recycled mesh fabric.
HomePod's advanced acoustic system, including a custom-engineered high-excursion woofer, powerful motor, built-in bass-EQ mic, and beamforming array of five tweeters, is combined with software and system-sensing technology to deliver an extraordinary listening experience. Room sensing technology also enables HomePod to recognize sound reflections from nearby surfaces, so it can adapt sound in real-time, immersing listeners in crystal-clear vocals and rich instrumentation.
With Apple Music, users can access a catalog of over 100 million songs, enjoy Spatial Audio with a single HomePod or as a stereo pair, or create a captivating home theater experience with Apple TV 4K. Siri can also access a range of music knowledge and search by artist, song, lyrics, decade, genre, mood, or activity.
Two or more HomePod or HomePod mini speakers unlock a variety of powerful features, such as multiroom audio with AirPlay, a stereo pair for a wider, more immersive soundstage, and the ability to use them as an intercom to broadcast messages to other rooms. Leveraging Ultra Wideband technology, users can also hand off whatever they're playing on iPhone directly to HomePod.
Find My capabilities to locate misplaced Apple devices. Plus, HomePod easily pairs with Apple TV 4K for a powerful home theater experience and eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel) support.
A Smart Home Essential
HomePod also features a variety of smart home integrations, such as Sound Recognition to detect smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and send notifications directly to the user's iPhone. The new built-in temperature and humidity sensors can measure indoor environments, so users can create automations that turn on Air conditioners or close the window shades when a certain temperature is reached in the room.
By activating Siri, customers can control a single device or create scenes like “Good Morning” that put multiple smart home accessories to work at the same time, or set up recurring automations hands-free like “Hey Siri, open the blinds every day at sunrise.”7 A new confirmation tone indicates when a Siri request is made to control an accessory that may not visibly show a change, like a heater, or for accessories located in a different room. Ambient sounds — like ocean, forest, and rain — have also been remastered and are more integrated into the experience, enabling customers to add new sounds to scenes, automations, and alarms.
Users can also intuitively navigate, view, and organize accessories with the redesigned Home app, which offers new categories for climate, lights, and security enables easy setup and control of the smart home, and includes a new multicamera view.
Matter launched last fall, enabling smart home products to work across ecosystems while maintaining the highest levels of security. Apple is a member of the Connectivity Standards Alliance, which maintains the Matter standard, along with other industry leaders. HomePod connects to and controls Matter-enabled accessories, and serves as an essential home hub, giving users access when away from home.
Apple has quietly added a temperature and humidity sensor to the HomePod Mini, a previously latent feature that had been present in the device since launch. The feature is not yet live in iOS 16.2, however, an update is expected soon. Once available, users can leverage the sensor to run various Apple Home automations, such as turning on a fan when it gets too hot or adjusting a compatible smart thermostat. There are some caveats to be aware of, such as the need for calibration time and decreased accuracy when audio is playing at high levels for an extended period.
Nonetheless, the addition of this feature is a great boon for those who already have a HomePod Mini in their home, allowing them to access many of the same features as the more expensive HomePod. It’s great that Apple has retroactively added a useful new feature for a device that’s already living in many people’s homes.
Customer data is always kept private on HomePod and HomePod Mini with end-to-end encryption and audio of Siri requests is not stored by default. The new HomePod is available to order online and in the Apple Store app starting today, with availability beginning Friday, February 3.