Your HomePod mini has a secret temperature and humidity sensor — Apple just switched it on

HomePod mini
(Image credit: Stephen Warwick / iMore)

Apple today surprised us with a brand new second-generation HomePod announcement. 

Costing $299, the HomePod 2 looks a lot like the old one with a couple of unique new features. One of its most interesting features, however, is a new temperature and humidity sensor which is also coming to the HomePod mini. In fact, it's already here. 

As the eagle-eyed folks at MacRumors have spotted, Apple now lists the Temperature and humidity sensor as a feature of both the HomePod and the HomePod mini. 

Mini temperature sensor

The HomePod mini is a tremendous little smart speaker thanks to its powerful audio punch, stereo compatibility, Siri, and smart home hub capabilities. This new feature will open up even more smart home options to users. 

With the new temperature and humidity sensor, your HomePod can detect changes in temperature and humidity, activating automations as a result. For example, it if gets too warm it can switch on a fan, or if the temperature drops it can switch on the heating. 

So how accurate is it? Apple says "temperature and humidity sensing is optimized for indoor, domestic settings when ambient temperatures are around 15º C to 30º C and relative humidity is around 30% to 70%," and warns that accuracy could decrease if you've been listening to audio for a long time at high volumes. 

While Apple now says that the HomePod mini has a temperature sensor, it hasn't shared a specific timeline as to when users will be able to access and use the feature. However, one lucky Twitter user says they've already got the feature working, having upgraded to Apple's new Home architecture before Apple pulled the release. The rest of us may have to wait until Apple's new software is released, likely next week. But we can already anticipate automations like having a HomePod's sensor trigger one of the best HomeKit ceiling fans to turn on, for instance.

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The new HomePod 2 also features sound recognition, which is coming in a software update later this year. It can hear smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alert your iPhone. As this is a software update, it seems highly plausible this feature could also make it to the HomePod mini. Conversely, the new HomePod actually borrows the fantastic "hand-off" feature from the HomePod mini, which uses UWB frequencies to "hand off" music from your iPhone to your HomePod by simply holding it close to the smart speaker. 

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9