Back from the Dead: Apple Launches Second-Generation HomePod

The new model should look familiar. It features the exact design as the first-generation HomePod with a mesh fabric exterior along with a backlit touch surface on the top of the speaker. 

Despite the same design, the new speaker does have a few new tricks up its sleeve. It’s powered by the same S7 chip found in the latest Apple Watch models with better computational audio. The speaker sports a high-excursion woofer and five tweeters.

Just like the HomePod mini, Ultra Wideband technology allows you to hand off whatever is playing on the iPhone like a song, podcast, or phone call, directly to the HomePod. 

With eARC support on the Apple TV 4K, you can make the HomePod the audio system for all devices connected to the TV. You can also combine two HomePods for a stereo pair. 

A new built-in temperature and humidity sensor can tie-in to a smart home setup. So, for example, you can create an automation that will close the blinds or turn on the fan automatically when a certain temperature is reached in a room.

Coming this spring with a software update, Sound Recognition will send a notification to your iPhone if a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds. 

There is also a new conformation tone that indicates when a Siri request is made to control an accessory that might not visibly show a change, like with a heater or accessories in a different room. 

It will also support the Matter smart home standard and act as a home hub for the new protocol.

The HomePod is available in white and midnight. Retailing for $299, you can order the smart speaker starting today. It will officially arrive on Friday, February 3. 

There’s been no update or changes to the smaller HomePod mini. 

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