New in the Appleverse is the re-emergence of a long-lost friend or at least the next version of it. I was pleasantly surprised when Apple unveiled the HomePod (2nd generation) earlier last month. And as usual, I fished through all the information I could find on what it had in store. So, here I am, summing it up for you.
Slightly shorter, slightly lighter & only a tad bit different
Ask Apple’s marketing team, and they are most likely to call HomePod (2nd generation) another groundbreaking innovation. Don’t get me wrong, this one’s got some pretty decent upgrades if you only look at the small lineup of HomePods in isolation. The S7 chip might be a stronger processor for HomePod standards but we’ve already met the Apple Watches with the same chip. The Matter support is again a wonderful addition to creating a secure smart home ecosystem. Hello, 2022. Been there. Seen that.
While I like the larger backlit touch surface of the newest HomePod 2, it is a slightly expanded version of what we had in the HomePod mini, no? The only things that caught my attention are mesh fabric made out of 100% recycled material and smoke monoxide alarm and a temperature and humidity sensor plugged into the device. And, yeah, yeah, at 2.3 kg x 6.62 inches it is lighter and shorter than the first HomePod. But c’mon, does 200 g x 0.2 inches make any difference?!
Different may not be better
The 1st generation HomePod was known for the powerful sound produced by the high-excursion woofer. Apple claims that the successor would deliver better, if not the same, sound quality with just five tweeters instead of seven tweeters. I wouldn’t be so sure. But, then, if Tim Cook and Company use the phrase ‘profound sound’, it must be, ahem, true! And hear this out, the new-gen HomePod has just four mics compared to the original’s six mics. When the music’s loud, will Siri be able to catch what I’m saying? Again, time will tell.
Apparently, pairing the speaker to your current HomePod is also going to be an issue unless you get rid of the old ones and buy yourself two brand-new ones. HomePod (2nd generation) only allows stereo pairing with HomePod (2nd generation). And of course, the new series of HomePods connect only with the ones its makers make – Apple devices. Sorry, Android users. You’re out of this club!
Love The Originals
When Apple introduced us to the OG HomePods, they were the first-of-its-kind smart speakers – great sound quality, HomeKit compatibility, stereo pairing, the whole continuity thing that we all love, and Siri’s advanced capabilities to listen even when the speaker is blasting. HomePod 1st generation was surely way ahead of its time (and competitors). Why it didn’t make a mark in the market still beats me. I mean ask anyone who has a HomePod and tell me if they do not go ga-ga about it. Heck, a certain someone on our team might even own two of those!
The Pricing Shocker
HomePod has always been a pain in our wallets (like every other product this tech giant gives us!). Apple launched the first generation at USD 350. Seeing that the sales didn’t skyrocket, they eventually dropped the prices to USD 299 (Read: ₹19,900 for India). Luckily, the tech giant did not bump up the launch price for the latest HomePod, at least not in dollars. It’s still USD 299. But we aren’t as lucky this time. If any of us here in India were to bring one home, the 2nd generation HomePod would make you fork out a massive ₹32,900 out of your pockets! Why Apple? Why do this to us?
Anyhoo, if you’ve got enough to spare, Apple’s taking in orders for HomePod 2nd generation in India too. They are available in both midnight and white colours.