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Apple's new HomePod mini is official and it's small and awesome

Apple HomePod Mini Kitchen
Apple HomePod Mini Kitchen (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has officially announced HomePod mini.
  • HomePod mini sells for just $99.
  • It runs on Apple's S5 chip (Apple Watch) and will be released in November.

At its October iPhone 12 event, Apple has finally revealed its brand new HomePod mini, a tiny smart speaker.

Apple has confirmed that the new HomePod mini, a redesign of its larger, original HomePod, will be a tiny smart speaker for your home.

The new mini Homepod will feature plenty of features from the old HomePod like Siri support, etc. It has a similar backlit touch surface and yes, it lights up when you wake Siri from its slumber. Construction-wise, HomePod mini features a mesh fabric created for acoustic performance. The whole thing is just 3.3 inches tall!

Apple claims "amazing bass response" despite the compact design, with 360-degree sound probably helped by the fact this thing is a small sphere. You can, of course, connect two together wirelessly to create a stereo pair.

The new device runs on Apple's S5 chip, formerly the brains of Apple Watch Series 5, so you shouldn't be sat waiting for Siri to do its thing.

Apple HomePod Mini Internal Hardware Overlay (Image credit: Apple)

This being Apple in 2020, there's an Ultra Wideband (UWB) chip so these things will now when your iPhone is nearby for fancy handoff features. You'll have to wait a little while before that comes, though. The same goes for Amazon and Pandora support, too.

HomePod mini is designed to work with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com, and TuneIn, and in the coming months, popular music services including Pandora and Amazon Music. Multiple HomePod mini speakers work together to stream music or podcasts to multiple rooms, all in perfect sync. By placing two HomePod mini speakers in a single room, a stereo pair can be created for a wide soundstage, filling the space with rich, enveloping sound.

Typical of Apple, privacy is important with HomePod mini, too. Apple says that personal requests – requests that use your data, for example – will only work when the device knows you're home.

You can order your very own HomePod mini from November 6, with delivery set to take place week of November 16. You can also order any color you want, so long as it's either Space Gray or White.

Apple is expected to unveil its iPhone 12 lineup alongside the new device.

Of course, Apple's iPhone 12 event is competing with Amazon's 2020 Prime Day event, where you can snag some of the best deals around on a whole host of products!

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.