Announced at Apple's October iPhone 12 event, the HomePod mini is a brand new smart speaker, a smaller version of the speaker that Apple first released in 2018. With a more compact (and brand new) design, the HomePod mini is also less expensive than its older sibling, and is meant to be not just a great speaker, but a better device for your home.
What's the deal with the HomePod mini?
HomePod mini is a small intelligent speaker that's controlled by Siri. Its much smaller than the original HomePod, and comes with a number of new sensors and capabilities that make it a lot smaller, too.
Just how 'mini' is it?
HomePod mini is 3.3 inches tall.
What are the details on the speaker of HomePod mini?
Like the original HomePod, HomePod mini focuses on 360-degree sound, powered by Apple's computational audio work. This means that HomePod mini sonically analyzes its environment to produces the best sound for the room it's in.
Can I control it with a "Hey Siri" command?
Yep. HomePod mini has a three-microphone array to listen for commands. Of course, Apple stresses that nothing you say leaves the HomePod until you've issued a command.
What processor does it use?
Interestingly, HomePod mini doesn't use the an A-series processor. Instead, it uses the S5 computer-on-a-chip found in the Apple Watch Series 5.
What new features come with HomePod mini compared to the original HomePod?
HomePod mini works a lot more seamlessly with other Apple devices, including the iPhone and other HomePod minis. For instance, while you can easily pair a couple of HomePods together into a wireless pair, HomePod mini can handle that process automatically. Put two HomePod minis in the same room, and they'll become a stereo pair on their own.
What is the Intercom feature?
Intercom is a new feature being introduced with HomePod mini. It allows you to communicate with people in your family using your HomePod mini. You can send an Intercom message with one person, or with every HomePod mini in the home. Additionally, Intercom messages can be sent from CarPlay or your iOS devices. If someone you want to contact is using AirPods, they'll get your messages there.
What colors does it come in?
Just like the original HomePod, HomePod mini comes in White and Space Gray.
How much does HomePod mini cost?
Each HomePod mini will run you $99.
When can I get HomePod mini?
HomePod mini will be available for order on November 6, and orders will ship and the speaker will arrive in stores on November 16.
Are you excited about the HomePod mini?
Lets us know in the comments below.
Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way.
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If it's priced competitively, I can see buying 2 of these to pair
Well, $200-$300 isn't. Those are what the Homepod sold for and is selling for pretty consistently. Better or not folks aren't going to pay more for the 'little brother'.
The HomePod is absurdly expensive, and you need 2 for stereo. Sorry, but I am not paying $250 (eBay) or - even more absurd - $300 (Apple) for a mono speaker. That kind of cash buys astonishingly good stereo speakers.
so, it looks really cool – but it begs the question: why don't they just call this the HomePod 2? I mean, essentially, this does the exact same things the current HomePod does, at a fraction of the price & size; aside from a sound comparison (which obv. we can't do until the thing ships in a month), it makes me wonder what place/future the HomePod has - which seems like none, and thus why not just all this the new HomePod?
Actually the current HomePod does significantly less in the home assistant sphere. There is no intercom feature. That really is a killer function, based on having it with a home full of Echos. I expect the minis won't have quite the sound chops the full size one do, just based on the size. I also don't expect the HomePod to be 'upgraded'. Might be wrong though. Sort of hope I'm wrong.
According to apple.com, HomePod has the Intercom feature
I know about intercom, but I can't find anywhere on Apple's HomePod Mini page about it being able to take calls or FaceTime. It does list that feature on the original one. Does anyone know if the Mini will be able to do this also?
And STILL you need 2 for stereo. 🙄 Seriously. I have lots of Bluetooth speakers. More than you can imagine. From $40 each to $300 each. ALL of them do stereo alone AND you can wirelessly pair 2 of them for much better stereo. Apple STILL does not get it. It’s not 1950. It is 2020. I don’t want my music in mono. One of these things would be ok for voice podcasts. It would suck for music. For music, you NEED stereo. Because you have 2 ears.
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