The Apple event is finally here and the CEO, Tim Cook kicked off the proceedings by announcing the new Apple smart speaker called HomePod Mini. A successor to the Apple HomePod, the new smart home speaker is rounder in design and more intelligent with new ‘Smart Home’ functions.
The device is powered by an S5 chip with advanced software that helps produce computational audio. It has a backlit touch surface on the top that can be used to play/pause audio, control volume, or activate the voice assistant, Siri. But who needs the touch control when you can just say ‘Hey Siri!’.
Apple says the HomePod Mini comes with a more advanced version of the voice assistant Siri. The new Siri on the HomePod Mini can recognize the individual voices of the members of the house. With the help of the individual voice recognition, Siri can respond to the member according to their needs. Users can also use the smart assistant to access applications on their other Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads or Macs.
In what Apple calls the ‘Smart Home’ function of the HomePod Mini, users can make use of the new Intercom system that connects all the Apple devices in the house together. With the help of the Intercom system, you can send a message from one HomePod Mini to another within the same house by only using your voice. You can also send messages from a HomePod Mini to any other Apple device within the same house.
Moreover, when a pair of homepod minis are placed together they automatically convert to stereo mode, to give you the premium listening experience that one expects from Apple.
The smart speaker is also integrated with the Apple HomeKit that can control various functions in the house such as turn on/off lights or dim them, lock doors, set a certain scene in the house, control temperature and other security functions.
Keeping in mind that about the privacy and security of the users, Apple said that any voice models of the user stored on the HomePod Mini will not be linked with their Apple IDs. Furthermore, there has to be another online Apple device in the house to unlock the smart speaker. The speaker will also only respond to the voices that are registered on the device.
The new HomePod Mini comes in two colors – White and Grey. Pre-orders for the smart speaker start on November 6 and will be sold in the US starting November 16 at $99.