Apple today announced the second generation HomePod to replace the original full size HomePod with improved smart home features. The New HomePod will feature built-in sensors that can be used in HomeKit. Along with Matter and Thread support.
The second generation HomePod features a backlit touch surface that illuminates from edge to edge, similar to the HomePod Mini. HomePod is available in white and a new colour made with 100 percent recycled mesh fabric,. It also features a colour matched woven power cable.
The second-generation HomePod has a single 4-inch woofer paired with five tweeters and five microphones. The smart speak can determine it’s positioned in a room and adjust its sound depending on its placement. Just like the original HomePod and HomePod mini, users can stereo pair two speakers and use them for Dolby Atmos speakers via eARC for the Apple TV 4K. Plus with Siri on HomePod, users can control what’s playing on their Apple TV hands-free.
New HomePod gets smart in the Home
The New HomePod second generation features built-in temperature and humidity sensors that can be used as triggers for smart home automations. So you could use the built-in sensors to trigger an automation if a room gets too warm to close the blinds. Apple has said that Accuracy may decrease in some situations where audio is playing for an extended period at high volume levels.
There’s also support for handoff of content like on the HomePod Mini using Apple’s ultra wideband. This feature allows you to handoff calls, music and podcasts to a HomePod just by holding your iPhone close to the smart speaker.
Apple says the new HomePod will use its five built-in microphones to listen for smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, then send what it hears to you an users iPhone. However, this feature is not arriving until Spring 2023.
To help with devices that don’t show a physical change like an heater or accessories in different rooms. A new confirmation tone shows when a Siri request is sent to control an accessory.
Its Matter and Thread capable
Just like the HomePod mini, the second generation HomePod can act as a Matter smart home controller and Thread border router for management of Matter devices. It also features Bluetooth 5.0 and connects via 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The second-generation HomePod will be sold in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and 11 other markets. It goes on pre-order today at £299/$299 and will start shipping starting 3rd february 2023.
I will of course be reviewing the new HomePod second generation, so keep checking back when that lands. If you have a question or a comment, then leave it below. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.