Skip to main content

Apple announces smaller HomePod mini for $99

Apple announces smaller HomePod mini for $99

/

Apple finally offers an entry-level HomePod

Share this story

Apple has announced a new version of its HomePod smart speaker, the $99 HomePod mini — a smaller version of the speaker that shrinks down the original model into a more compact size.

Like the full-size HomePod, the HomePod mini still features a mesh fabric exterior in both black and white colors, along with a small display on top to show the Siri waveform and volume controls. The new model is more of a short, spherical shape, however, instead of the oblong design of the original. The HomePod mini features one main driver, two passive radiators, and an “acoustic waveguide” on the bottom.

The new HomePod mini also features an Apple S5 chip, which Apple says allows for “computational audio” processing to adjust how your music sounds 180 times per second. Multiple HomePod mini speakers can play music in sync and “intelligently” create stereo pairing when placed in the same room. Apple is also using the U1 chips that it debuted in last year’s iPhones to create a better Handoff experience later this year.

Also coming later this year: Apple’s promised support for third-party music services, a list that will include Pandora, Amazon Music, and iHeartRadio — but notably, not Spotify.

Apple debuted a new “Intercom” feature that allows for customers with multiple HomePod devices in different rooms to communicate throughout the house. Intercom messages will also appear on connected iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches (although they won’t immediately play out loud like they do on the HomePod mini).

The original HomePod cost $349 when it first launched in 2018, making it far more expensive than any of Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home speakers. That high price, combined with the Apple-only limitations of the original (which only worked with Apple Music, a problem that Apple is only now fixing with iOS 14 this fall), made it a tough sell, especially when compared to cheaper and more capable Google and Amazon alternatives.

And while Apple would eventually go on to cut the price of the original HomePod (it now routinely costs $199 on sale), it’s still pricey. The new HomePod mini should help change that by offering similar features to the original but at a far more palatable price point.

That’s a big deal, too, because the HomePod isn’t just a smart speaker — it serves as a central hub for any HomeKit devices, enabling users to control things like their lights or doors when they’re not at home, as well as enabling automation features for Apple’s Home app. A more accessible HomePod doesn’t just provide more ways for Apple to get Siri and Apple Music into people’s homes, it helps expand Apple’s entire presence as part of your smart home setup.

The HomePod mini will cost $99. Preorders start on November 6th and shipping begins on November 16th.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Sep 25 Not just you

E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Rihanna’s headlining the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Apple Music’s set to sponsor the Halftime Show next February, and it’s starting out strong with a performance from Rihanna. I honestly can’t remember which company sponsored the Halftime Show before Pepsi, so it’ll be nice to see how Apple handles the show for Super Bowl LVII.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 25
Starlink is growing.

The Elon Musk-owned satellite internet service, which covers all seven continents including Antarctica, has now made over 1 million user terminals. Musk has big plans for the service, which he hopes to expand to cruise ships, planes, and even school buses.

Musk recently said he’ll sidestep sanctions to activate the service in Iran, where the government put restrictions on communications due to mass protests. He followed through on his promise to bring Starlink to Ukraine at the start of Russia’s invasion, so we’ll have to wait and see if he manages to bring the service to Iran as well.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 25
We might not get another Apple event this year.

While Apple was initially expected to hold an event to launch its rumored M2-equipped Macs and iPads in October, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman predicts Apple will announce its new devices in a series of press releases, website updates, and media briefings instead.

I know that it probably takes a lot of work to put these polished events together, but if Apple does pass on it this year, I will kind of miss vibing to the livestream’s music and seeing all the new products get presented.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 24
California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoes the state’s “BitLicense” law.

The bill, called the Digital Financial Assets Law, would establish a regulatory framework for companies that transact with cryptocurrency in the state, similar to New York’s BitLicense system. In a statement, Newsom says it’s “premature to lock a licensing structure” and that implementing such a program is a “costly undertaking:”

A more flexible approach is needed to ensure regulatory oversight can keep up with rapidly evolving technology and use cases, and is tailored with the proper tools to address trends and mitigate consumer harm.


Welcome to the new Verge

Revolutionizing the media with blog posts

Nilay PatelSep 13
A
Youtube
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.


A
The Verge
Andrew WebsterSep 24
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.


T
Twitter
Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.