During its October iPhone event, Apple unveiled the HomePod mini. The HomePod mini is a new circular ‘bowl’ designed speaker aimed to be the ‘little brother’ to the original HomePod like the Amazon Echo Dot is to the Amazon Echo.
The speaker emits sound in a 360-degree array. The mini is powered by the Apple S5 chip that also powers the Apple Watch. Alongside the hardware, Apple announced several new feature updates for Siri.
HomePod mini pricing
While the original HomePod retailed for $349 originally (Now $299), the HomePod mini is only $99. This price point will make it easy to put Siri, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and HomeKit in every room of the house.
Like the original HomePod, the mini will come wrapped in mesh fabric in either black or white options.
“HomePod mini has everything customers want in a smart speaker — amazing sound for listening to music, a world-class intelligent assistant that delivers a personal experience to each member of the household, and like every Apple product, it’s designed with privacy and security in mind,” said 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.”
The mini works with Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, radio.com, and TuneIn, and it will be adding support for Pandora and Amazon Music in the coming months. Support for Spotify was not mentioned.
Multiple speakers work together to stream music or podcasts to multiple rooms, all in perfect sync. By placing two mini speakers in a single room, a stereo pair can be created for a room-filling sound. A mini cannot be paired with the original HomePod for stereo pair.
Siri with HomePod can identify who is speaking and customize music and podcasts to their preferences, and respond to personal requests, like accessing iMessages, reminders, notes, and calendar events, or answering phone calls. Siri on HomePods also offers a new personal update for a quick snapshot of the upcoming day.
With a single command, users can ask Siri “What’s my update?” to hear the latest news, weather, traffic, reminders, and calendar appointments.
In the new intercom feature, you can send an Intercom message from one HomePod to another — regardless if they are in a different room, a specific zone, or multiple rooms throughout the home — and their voice will automatically play on the designated HomePod.
- Siri Shortcuts created on iPhone and iPad are usable on HomePod mini, so users can ask Siri the mini to start a pot of coffee or add bread to the grocery list, and more.
- Ambient sounds offer the perfect background noise to focus, relax, or fall asleep. Siri can set a sleep timer so the sounds automatically stop playing after a half-hour, etc.
- Find My helps locate a misplaced iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch by playing a sound to help locate it.
- Web search results from mini can be sent directly to an iPhone.
- Music alarms let you wake up to a favorite song, playlist, or station from Apple Music.
Keep reading for the latest news, deals, and reviews about Apple’s latest smart speaker. Check out 9to5Toys for the latest Apple deals.