Tag: HomePod

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

HomePod Mini Supports Low-Power Thread Networking Technology

As disclosed on the specs page for Apple’s new HomePod mini, the diminutive speaker is Apple’s first to support Thread networking technology.


Thread is a low-power IP-based networking technology for connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices, offering a secure, mesh-based system that makes it easy to build an ecosystem of devices.

While Thread is essentially agnostic to the application layers that run on top of it, it can support multiple layers and may play a role in Project Connected Home over IP, the alliance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and other companies that is seeking to make it simpler to build devices compatible with multiple ecosystems such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

For the time being, however, Apple says in a footnote that ‌HomePod‌ mini’s Thread support is limited to HomeKit devices, so the technology can’t yet be leveraged cross-platform and it remains to be seen how Apple will embrace Thread going forward.

Apple is a noted supporter of the Thread project, with longtime Apple engineer Stuart Cheshire, who developed the Rendezvous/Bonjour zero-configuration standard nearly 20 years ago, serves as a director of Thread Group.

Apple’s ‌HomePod‌ mini will be available for pre-order starting November 6, and it will officially launch on November 16.

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13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple unveils $99 HomePod Mini smart speaker launching next month

homepod-mini.jpg

Apple

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During Apple’s “Hi, Speed.” iPhone 12 event on Tuesday, the company announced a follow up smart speaker, the HomePod Mini. The smaller speaker is more affordable, with a $99 price tag, and smaller than the original HomePod. It goes on sale Nov. 6 and will start shipping Nov. 16. 

Apple still leverages Siri, along with several new software updates and improvements, including the ability to play music from third-party services like Spotify, instead of being limited to Apple Music as has been the case since its launch in 2018. 

The smaller speaker has the same mesh covering on the outside as the original HomePod, albeit smaller, but it’s more of a spherical shape than the column-like shape of the bigger HomePod. The top screen on the Mini is used to indicate when Siri is listening to your voice commands and accepts touch controls for controlling volume and music playback.

homepod-mini-2.jpg

Apple

The HomePod Mini has smart home controls, built-in assistant, and amazing sound while keeping security and privacy in mind.

The HomePod Mini provides 360-degree sound and is powered by the Apple S5 processor. It uses computational audio to adjust the audio that comes out of the speaker as it’s coming out, tuning it for ideal sound quality in real-time. 

The HomePod Mini has an Ultra Wide Band chip inside it, the same kind of chip that made its debut in the iPhone 11 but hasn’t been fully used yet. The UWB chip in the HomePod Mini will be

13
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

HomePod Mini, 6th-Gen Apple TV Could Track U1 Chip-Powered Devices, Leaker Says

KEY POINTS

  • Apple is working on a smaller version of the HomePod and a new Apple TV
  • Both devices will make use of Apple’s UWB technology, a report says
  • The tech allows both devices to act as base stations monitoring all U1 devices in a user’s home

Apple’s upcoming small home speaker, the HomePod Mini, and the sixth-generation Apple TV will feature advanced technologies that allow them to do certain things like keep track of other iDevices, a leaker claims.

Noted tipster Jon Prosser, creator of Frontpage Tech and leaker who claims to be the “world’s most controversial Apple reporter,” suggested that Apple is equipping its upcoming HomePod Mini and Apple TV with technologies allowing them to do “next level stuff.”

Per the leaker, who has a noteworthy 74.5% accuracy when it comes to Apple leaks and rumors according to AppleTrack, the new smart home speaker and TV device will “both act as UWB base stations.” UWB stands for “ultra wideband” and is used by the company’s U1 chip, allowing iDevices such as iPhones to be located in the event it gets misplaced or dropped.

The new technology found in the HomePod Mini and Apple TV will allow the devices to turn “regular hardware into HomeKit hardware,” Prosser said.

Here’s what the new devices can do using the new tech:

  • First, it will allow the devices to “precisely track” the user’s location inside the home as he or she carries a device with the U1 chip, such as the iPhone 11.
  • Second, it will allow the HomePod Mini and sixth-gen Apple TV to interact with other devices to control media playback, adjust brightness and volume levels and manage door locks.
  • Third, and more interestingly, it will allow the devices to work with the Find My
05
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Apple Stops Selling Headphones and Speakers From Third-Party Companies Ahead of Rumored Smaller HomePod and AirPods Studio Launch

Apple is no longer selling headphones and wireless speakers from companies like Sonos, Bose, and Logitech, as it prepares to launch a new, lower-cost HomePod and AirPods Studio headphones.


According to checks performed by Bloomberg, Apple removed headphones and speakers from Bose, speakers from Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand, and Sonos speakers from its online Apple Store at the end of September. Searching for these products, which were previously sold online and in retail stores, brings up no results.

Employees at Apple retail locations have also allegedly been asked to pull third-party audio products from shelves over the course of the last few days. Retail stores and the online store continue to offer Beats-branded headphones and speakers alongside Apple’s AirPods and ‌HomePod‌.

Apple has made similar moves in the past, eliminating stock of fitness trackers ahead of the launch Apple Watch. Apple told Bloomberg that it regularly makes changes to the products that it offers as new third-party accessories are released and the needs of customers change.

Rumors indicate Apple is working on several new audio products, including a smaller, lower-cost HomePod and high-end over-ear Apple-branded headphones that could be called “‌AirPods Studio‌,” to be sold alongside the ‌AirPods‌ and AirPods Pro.

Both of these new products are expected to launch before the end of the year, and the removal of the third-party audio products from the online store suggests we could be seeing Apple’s new audio devices soon, perhaps as soon as the iPhone-centric October event that’s rumored to be in the works.

Current rumors indicate that Apple has an event planned for October 13, and if that’s the case, we could see an Apple announcement as soon as tomorrow.

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