Apple has just released its second generation HomePod, which is one of the most confusing new products from the tech giant in recent years. The first HomePod was launched in 2018 and was a $350 Siri-enabled smart speaker with exceptional sound quality and impressive engineering.
However, the product did not sell well, with a market share of only 6% of the home smart speaker market. To try and boost sales, Apple reduced the price to $300, which was a rare move, and eventually released a mini version of the same product, priced at $99. Despite these efforts, the original HomePod was discontinued and removed from the Apple website in 2021.
Now, Apple has brought back the HomePod, with the second generation model being new and improved. Although, it is somewhat hard to determine the changes just by looking at it from the outside. The new model has a similar layout as the previous version and is almost the same size, with slightly different proportions.
The new colour, called Midnight, is a mix of black with a hint of blue and is also featured on the iPhone. The touch surface is roughly the same size as the previous version, but is set a little bit lower. The display now covers the entire circle, giving it a more vibrant look when you interact with it or use Siri.
One of the major improvements in the second generation HomePod is the power cable, which is now fully removable, unlike the previous version. This allows for the speaker to be placed behind a desk or table and helps avoid any unsightly cables.
However, one issue that has not been addressed from the previous version is the staining of wooden tables. Despite a redesign of the base to spread out the surface area, the new HomePod still stains wooden tables, though it takes longer and with a slightly different pattern.
There are two new sensors in the second generation HomePod – a temperature sensor and a humidity sensor. This feature allows for syncing with other smart home devices, such as turning on a humidifier if the humidity drops below a certain level or turning on a fan or air conditioning if the temperature rises above 75 degrees. This is a significant improvement over the original HomePod, which required a separate sensor.
Another new feature of the second generation HomePod is the sound recognition feature. If the HomePod’s microphones hear an alarm or smoke detector, it will send a notification to your phone, allowing you to check the cameras in your home or take other necessary actions. This is especially useful if you are away from home and are notified of a potential emergency.
The second generation HomePod is a better product than its predecessor, with several improvements that enhance its functionality. The removable power cable, temperature and humidity sensors, and sound recognition feature are all welcomed upgrades. However, the new model still has some of the same issues as the original HomePod, such as staining wooden tables, which is something to keep in mind if you are considering purchasing the new product. Despite these drawbacks, the second generation HomePod is a solid smart speaker that is sure to impress Apple fans and anyone looking for a top-quality speaker for their home.