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Lucas Riechert - Monday 23 January 2023

Apple announces new HomePod and also plans to further expand its offering in smart home products

As expected, Apple has announced a new version of its WiFi speaker HomePod! This new HomePod is going to have better sound quality, a faster chip and more smart-home features than its predecessor. Apple also plans to further expand its smart-home product offerings, with an iPad-like device to control a smart home in addition to its current smart speakers. Read on below to find out what to expect from it.

New HomePod
The new HomePod will work with the S7 chip and you can stream wirelessly with it using AirPlay 2. According to Apple, the new chip enables "computational audio", making the most of the acoustic system. The design is cylindrical with a fabric exterior, making it quite similar to the first HomePod from 2018. In addition, the speaker supports lossless audio and Dolby Atmos with Apple Music. At the top, you can find a small touchscreen screen. You can also control the HomePod with Siri, which also lets you control all kinds of other smart home devices. Universal smart home standards Matter and Thread are supported with the HomePod. You can also use the speaker for Apple TV, of course. Also cool; you can pair two copies together as a stereo pair, however, you cannot pair one old model of the HomePod with the new one.

New security features
The new HomePod will also make your home or flat a lot safer. Namely, it will soon be able to listen if a smoke or carbon monoxide detector goes off and then automatically send a notification to your iPhone. This feature is going to be added in the spring via a major software update. So you no longer have to worry about this when you go out the door. In addition, the HomePod comes with a built-in temperature and humidity sensor. This allows you, for example, to automatically close your blinds or turn on a fan when the temperature in a room reaches a certain value.

On sale from February and update for HomePod Mini
Since late last year, the smaller HomePod Mini has been available in the Netherlands, but its "big brother" the HomePod was not available in the Netherlands at all. Fortunately, the new version is going to be available in the Netherlands from 3 February. A fine update awaits the HomePod Mini, in this one the temperature and humidity sensor will also be activated. In addition, the HomePod Minis also get the sound recognition to recognise the alarm of smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

Apple aims to expand smart home product offerings
In addition to the new HomePod, Apple is also said to be working on a number of new devices to be released in the near future, according to Bloomberg. These would include an iPad-like screen designed primarily to control smart lights, thermostats, speakers, cameras and other smart devices.
This kind of iPad would stand on a central stand or could be magnetically attached to a wall. In addition, Apple would consider making smart home screens a lot bigger. In any case, we are very curious to see what Apple's future in smart devices will be!

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