Forget the new HomePod – Apple just made the HomePod mini even more appealing
The mini smart speaker from Apple is getting one of the new HomePod's selling point
Apple’s full-sized HomePod is back after a two-year hiatus, and its arrival is set to benefit owners of Apple’s cheaper smart speaker: the HomePod mini.
One of the HomePod’s new features is a temperature and humidity sensor. If you have a smart home, the sensors can help you create new automations – like turning on the air conditioning automatically if things get a bit hot and sticky inside.
It’s been known for quite some time that the HomePod mini already has temperature and humidity sensors. However, Apple has never enabled them until now.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: HomePod mini update
🆕 Apple announced a new HomePod for $299 on January 18
🌡️ The full-size speaker supports Matter and includes a temperature and humidity sensor
🔒 The HomePod mini also has temperature and humidity sensors, but these have been locked since launch
🔓 However, in an upcoming update, the HomePod mini will also be able to provide temperature and humidity readings
In an upcoming 16.3 update, the HomePod mini will also be able to read the temperature and humidity of a room, making the cheaper $99 speakers even more appealing to those who aren’t willing to splash the cash on the new $299 HomePod.
Apple Insider has already tested the new temperature and humidity sensing feature, and it works just as you’d expect. It takes a few minutes for the speakers to calibrate, but you’ll then see the current metrics of your room – or rooms if you have several HomePod minis.
Apple launched the HomePod mini shortly after discontinuing the original HomePod in 2021, and the success of these small but surprisingly powerful speakers paved the way for the discontinued HomePod’s return.
Even though the HomePod can offer superior sound at louder volumes, there’s not much to separate the two products. Like its bigger brother, the HomePod mini also has Siri support, the same innovative home hub features, and can be used as a stereo pair with Apple TV 4K.
HomePod also has spatial audio support like Dolby Atmos and room sensing technology to deliver optimal sound. But is that really worth an extra $200? Ultimately it will be the consumers who decide.
I picked up two HomePod mini speakers recently and was worried that any future full-sized HomePod announcement would make my purchase feel frivolous. Credit to Apple, though – it didn’t have to add one of HomePod’s most desirable new features to the HomePod mini, even though it was technically already there.
Even though the superior sound quality of the HomePod definitely intrigues me, it’s hard to argue with the HomePod mini’s $99 price point, especially if you want to begin building a smart home. You can also buy Apple’s more affordable orbs in various colors if the HomePod’s white and black shades aren’t your thing.
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