At today’s Apple Event which introduced the iPhone 12, there was another item that they introduced to the Apple family before it: the HomePod mini. A smaller version of the original HomePod, it stands at just 3.3 inches tall and can perform a lot of the same functions of its predecessor, namely Siri connectivity, high-quality music listening, and the ability to answer calls remotely. Whichever activity, the Apple S5 chip within the HomePod mini uses advanced software and tuning models to “enable computational audio to deliver breakthrough audio quality”. With this shortened height also comes a cheaper price as well: it will retail for just $99 and come in two colors: white and space gray.
According to Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing:
“HomePod mini is the ultimate smart speaker for anyone with an Apple device. It works effortlessly with iPhone to hand off music, answer calls, or deliver personalized listening suggestions, elevates the sound from Apple TV, plays music from a Mac, and so much more. There’s a lot of Apple innovation packed into such a small speaker, all at an affordable price.”
In terms of the interconnectivity between Apple apps and devices, the HomePod mini is compatible with Apple Music, the Podcasts app, radio.com, iHeartRadio and TuneIn. Amazon Music and Pandora connectivity are planned in the near future. Simply moving your phone within distance of the speaker will transfer whatever you were listening to on your phone to the speaker. For an enhanced listening experience, pairing multiple HomePod mini speakers can provide more sound coverage within a single room or it can be synchronized throughout your home or living space no matter which room you happen to be in. The design of the HomePod mini directs sound downward to the base of the speaker to provide a 360-degree listening experience. This design was done so that no matter where you are in a room you will be able to hear properly. While the speaker is playing, a four-microphone system automatically filters sound emanating from the HomePod mini so it can detect your voice easily.
Siri utilizes the aforementioned technology to personalize your experience with the HomePod mini. For instance, Siri can identify speaking voices, choose music and podcasts depending on user listening habits, and answer requests such as making calls/text messages, reminders, or notes. If your reminders and calendar are synced with the HomePod mini, Siri can even be asked “What’s my update?” and she will lay out your itinerary on top of local weather, traffic, and news.
HomePod mini is compatible with other smart home accessories which makes it the ideal central controlling hub for your living space. In addition, the brand new Intercom feature lets you communicate with others in your home like you’re using walkie talkies. You simply record and send a message on the HomePod near you and it will play on the HomePod you sent it to. This feature is also compatible with most Apple devices like iPhone, iPad, AirPods, Apple Watch and CarPlay.