Though the ‘Hi, Speed’ event’s primary focus was on the iPhone 12 series, Apple also introduced a smaller version of its HomePod called the “HomePod Mini”. Similar to Amazon’s Echo device, the HomePod is a tiny speaker with a spherical design. So what exactly is this super cute and super smart speaker capable of? Let’s find out.
The HomePod Mini is significantly smaller than the original HomePod. It has a rounded design style which makes look less imposing than its big brother, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
HomePod is available in the same Space Grey or a White colour options and receives a colourful display on the top along with the volume keys. In dimensions, the HomePod mini is just 8 cms tall (read: short).
The HomePod Mini is compatible with all Apple devices. You need to sign in with your Apple ID, and all logged-in devices will automatically get connected. You can also enable Family Sharing, and the HomePod will recognize the voice of every family member.
If you already have an HomePod or decide to get two or more Mini devices, you can place them in different locations at your home and use the Intercom service to send your messages across rooms. For instance, if you have one device in your living room and the other in your kid’s room, you can say, “Hey, Siri intercom to the kid’s room and ask them to come for dinner.” Siri will do the needful.
The intercom feature is not limited to the HomePods only. You can activate Siri from your iOS/macOS devices or through the CarPlay app in your vehicle and instantly connect with the HomePod. However, seamless integration can be experienced even if no one is near the speaker to hear you out, HomePod will automatically send notifications to your family member’s iPhone and other Apple devices.
The HomePod Mini can be paired with the AirPods as well to listen to music, podcasts to intercom messages. Once connected, with the second generation AirPods or the AirPods Pro, “Hey, Siri” can be summoned for the HomePod as well.
Pairing & Smart Devices
Pairing is rather simple using the Home app on an iPhone or iPad. If you have the HomeKit enabled smart accessories, you can voice control them as well. Apple claims they have the best Privacy Settings on the HomePod, and the device will never share private information. Voice commands with Siri are encrypted, and all your data is transmitted without associating with an Apple ID.
HomePod Mini is capable of displacing 360 degrees sound, and Apple says there’s no compromise in sound quality despite the smaller footprint. If you have two HomePod Minis, both can be placed together for a stereo sound effect. With various voice-assisted speakers in the market claiming the same, the HomePod Mini integrates with the Apple ecosystem like no other device.
Apple has priced the HomePod Mini at Rs.9,900/- for the Indian market. The bigger HomePod retails at Rs.19,900/-. I think Mini’s price is a bit higher in comparison to the original HomePod but will reserve might final judgement till I hear how good a sound this tiny speaker can produce.