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Leaker: HomePod 'Mini' Close to Launch, But No Second-Generation HomePod This Year

LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Jul 17, 2017
2,209
756
Boston
Understood. As far as HomeKit support, I use https://homebridge.io/ on a raspberry pi, which adds HomeKit support to devices that don’t have it. I am able to control my thermostat, Logitech harmony hub, and a couple of smart plugs that don’t natively support HomeKit. My goal in setting this up was to exclusively use the “Home” app on iOS and Siri for smart home control, and so far it’s been a success.

I’m no programmer, it was pretty simple to set up. But not everyone wants to deal with setting up homebridge, so admittedly using echo devices is more of a “it just works” way. Here’s hoping smart home standards continue to improve to where anyone can use whatever they want.
Yeah, I hear you, even with Echo/Alexa, I have a few smart products that I have to use Simple Commands and create scenes to work with Alexa. Some of the functionality designed by the manufacture not to work with Alexa for security reasons, so I have become quite the mini programmer getting things like open the garage door when I turn down the street and then unlock my front door to work. It's become a new fun obsession for me this smart home stuff. Just when I think I can't possibly do anymore, I think of a challenge. The latest was a smart IR blaster to control home video and audio, change inputs etc. I walk around my house spurting off voice commands.
 
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name99

macrumors 6502a
Jun 21, 2004
855
540
what would a new HomePod2 do? sound better? sounds like HomePod just needs software updates to make it better.

Respond faster. Principally by running much of Siri locally.

People complain about Siri being "dumb" but I don't have problems with the responses; I DO have problems with the delay in getting them. Sure, in the grand scheme of things a few seconds delay is not terminal. But why SHOULD I wait a few seconds if that can be avoided by sticking an A12 with NPU and enough RAM inside the speaker?
 
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kardiogramm

macrumors newbie
Jun 13, 2014
3
0
Think it needs improvements to maintain a connection with an iPhone as I personally prefer playing from my Music app, but I notice it disconnects too frequently. Siri should be more open to other music services, more home kit integration and more intelligent. Personally, I think a physical audio input and BT 5.0 (or above) would have made it more open. As a customer, I would have felt like whatever happens it will work with other devices so an easier purchase decision. I think the hardware needs to be updated to Wifi 6 and a more recent A-series chip as it can be a bit slow. Would be incredible (if expensive) if they could be combined to create various levels of surround sound with an optional subwoofer for an audio/cinema setup that automatically detects with an iPhone the perfect acoustic setup.
 
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DJJAZZYJET

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2011
411
7
The Homepod sounds great but can be too much for a single room. Hoping the HomePod Mini can be run on a built-in rechargeable battery, work over Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi, and have a customisable sound profile option in the Home App - all of which i’m sure won’t happen but one can dream. It would put the current portable Bluetooth speaker market under pressure & raise the bar.
 
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ohmydays

macrumors member
Aug 18, 2020
52
138
I will personally never buy one of these no matter what the price whilst it's not fully compatible with all major music streaming services like Spotify. I just refuse to be forced into using apple music. All my playlists and stuff is on spotify and I'm perfectly happy with it. I can either get a homepod and it would be very annoying to use spotify on it, or change to apple music which would also be more annoying.

Frankly even if spotify is included in a future update as mentioned in the article, I'm very skeptical about getting one, I mean what if there is a great app out there for smart speakers but then apple effectively bans the use of them except for their own? I just think it's a ****** practice by apple.... they can do it if they like, it's their product, but it'll never be for me after they've taken so many years to include spotify.

Apple changed this in iOS 14 - Spotify, if they wanted to, could allow you change the default music player, but they’re to busy b*tching about Apple.
 
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jmgregory1

macrumors 68020
I’ve held off on getting a HomePod, even with the sale price of $200 at Best Buy, it still just seemed too expensive for what I’d get out of it. I used to have a 5 room connected stereo system with built-in wall and ceiling speakers, but after selling the place, we’ve simply used an old Bose speaker, a Google puck smart speaker in the kitchen, and a few different wireless speakers in various rooms.

But as the weather turns cooler and we’re inside more now, I couldn’t stand not having a proper stereo any longer and got an inexpensive set of Polk Audio speakers for ~$100 and set up my old receiver / amplifier with what was a dust-collecting AirPort Express (updated to allow for AirPlay2). And now we’ve got a GREAT sounding system in the living room that completely eliminated my desire to buy a HomePod. Sorry Apple...
 
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soanis

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2013
124
139
Europe
I suggest/dare you give a listen to other $2-300 speakers out there then tell me straight faced that their sound is comparable.

kindly have a look inside, at the best under $100, $200 and $500 lists which usually refer to pairs

 
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ErikGrim

macrumors 603
Jun 20, 2003
5,059
3,599
Brisbane, Australia
Does anybody who owns a homepod know if they resolved the problem of the base staining certain kinds of wood treatment? I don't want white "coffee rings" all over my shelves...
That was never a problem. I have four homepods sitting on three different kinds of treated wood, in the same spot for two years. I just lifted them all now and there's not a single mark.
 
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haganah

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2003
92
52
Apple really missed the boat on the Homepod. The smaller more affordable version is a little too late. They had an opportunity to break into the Alexa/Echo home automation market and all the bennies that come with it. Siri still can't hold a candle to Alexa and Amazon is basically giving the entry Echo away. The Alexa app is SO powerful in terms of home automation. I don't think Apple's strategy was purely sound quality and the homepod falls short there in terms of value. My home has 9 Echo's spread throughout my very smart home and I walk around telling Alexa what to do, ie. turn on the TV, turn on the fireplace, close garage door, preheat my air fryer, open my garage door when I pull in the driveway, etc. Siri, Homekit, HomePod = Fail.

I just don't understand comments like this. You have more Alexas so Siri is bad at home automation and Alexa is "SO powerful in terms of home automation"??

You're right - it is free and you can put it everywhere. No disagreement there. That means you can have more of them if you are price sensitive (most people are). But that doesn't make it more powerful.

I also use HomeKit in my home and it's great. Very powerful. Fully integrated into Apple without the need for hubs and such.
 
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haganah

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2003
92
52
You can't play live BBC radio apart from via AirPlay, the BBC confirm that here. I think the reasoning is the same as they gave when they pulled their content from TuneIn as explained here "When we make our programmes available via third parties, we ask that those platforms either allow you to sign into your BBC account – or provide us with meaningful data directly. Unfortunately, TuneIn doesn’t do either of these, so we couldn’t reach a data sharing agreement with them". While I understand the BBC want to capture listener data, it seems a bit ridiculous commercial radio stations are happy to make their content available without it whereas BBC (whose radio stations do not rely on ad funding in the UK) won't.

I said "Hey Siri play BBC" and it responded "Now playing BBC world service UK provided by TuneIn". Maybe I missed a part of the earlier discussion but why are you guys using AirPlay to do it?
 
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ErikGrim

macrumors 603
Jun 20, 2003
5,059
3,599
Brisbane, Australia
I'll happily buy minis to blanket the spaces in my apartment not covered by the four homepods I already have. But I really need apple to solve a major problem first: Make timers universal and not tied to the homepod/pair. It's extremely frustrating to ask "how much left on the timer?" only to hear "There are no timers set" because the homepod that responded wasn't the one where the timer was set.
 
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haganah

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2003
92
52
I wish Apple would just sell a combined AppleTV/HomePod/AirPort device. But I know that won't happen. That would be nice because it simplifies my life and I don't need as many devices. I imagine people like having separate routers and speakers though so I'm probably in the minority.
 
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dannys1

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2007
2,780
5,017
UK
My portable bluetooth speaker isn't dime a dozen crap (Sonos Move). And i don't think the the HomePod is unique, other than it's the only one with an apple logo on it. I have my phone nearby or my apple watch on all the time, so Siri is in every room already. I use Siri to airplay to my Move or multiple Symfonisks' all of the time.

My it's slow and not reactive enough on the watch - and the watch doesn't know what room you're in - so when you're using Homekit you have to specify the room you want the actions to happen in - where as with Homepod it know's what room it's in so you don't have to.

The HomePod is definitely a lot more unique than most cheap £200-£300 smart speakers in that it actually sounds quite good, it blows Sonos horrible sounding crap out of the water.
 
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dannys1

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2007
2,780
5,017
UK
The HomePod isn’t unique. Sonos offers similar (if not better sound) with much better connectivity at a lower price.

Sonos definitely does not offer better sound - Sonos stuff is notorious crap sounding. They offer decent features but I could never buy into it because the sound was terrible, i'd rather use a proper Airplay2 amp and proper hi fi speakers. The only Sonos speakers worth listening to are much more expensive than the HomePods (which are ultimately a budget speaker)
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It cAnt be too difficult to move from one room to another and plug in. Batteries need to be charged also so still tethered to an outlet.

I don't want it for the sound - I want it to be positioned per room for homekit so Siri queries automatically apply to that room.
 
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minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
1,169
193
Modern day spy device, boy people are so gullible. What are you gonna do wait until Apple has another ”I‘m sorry Hey Siri was listening to you have sex with your wife without your consent” debacle.

SOURCE: https://www.macrumors.com/2019/07/26/siri-human-analysis-voice-recordings/
Yes, it listening is a real risk. But I have that risk with my iPhone, my watch, and my laptop (some of those also have cameras and track my location). So if my fear is “Apple may hear me”, then I need to do more than get rid of my HomePod.

And I do not mean that as sarcasm or am trying to disagree. You are 100% correct. I’m just saying the potential eavesdropping (malicious or accidental) is much larger than one HomePod in my living room.
 
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LarryJoe33

macrumors 68020
Jul 17, 2017
2,209
756
Boston
I just don't understand comments like this. You have more Alexas so Siri is bad at home automation and Alexa is "SO powerful in terms of home automation"??

You're right - it is free and you can put it everywhere. No disagreement there. That means you can have more of them if you are price sensitive (most people are). But that doesn't make it more powerful.

I also use HomeKit in my home and it's great. Very powerful. Fully integrated into Apple without the need for hubs and such.

Never said the price point or the number I have make it more powerful. I have many because I want to be able to perform voice commands in every room including the garage.

In terms of hubs, very few of my smart devices require hubs. None of my smart light switches, outlets or lights do. Same for my garage door opener, fireplace or TV setup.

My comments with regard to Siri vs Alexa or HomeKit vs Alexa is purely from experience. I use both Siri and Alexa and Siri still leaves a lot to be desired. This is widely acknowledged by even the most diehard Apple zealots. In terms of HomeKit, just a guess here but maybe a 10x ratio of products supported by Alexa vs HomeKit. From my experience, when I wanted to automate something, the product choices were limited for HomeKit and they usually were more expensive.

Finally, money was never the issue for me. I definitely don’t want to throw it away, but investment in my smart home wasn’t an issue. In terms of the “speaker” called HomePod, I call it a speaker because that’s pretty much it’s only useful function and it doesn’t even sound like $300.
 
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Jony Ive and Co.

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2020
141
170
So no chip improvements, still the ancient A8. I want the latest and greatest A14 in a smart speaker just for the sake of it!!!
 
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-DMN-

macrumors regular
Jan 21, 2019
141
422
Yes, it listening is a real risk. But I have that risk with my iPhone, my watch, and my laptop (some of those also have cameras and track my location). So if my fear is “Apple may hear me”, then I need to do more than get rid of my HomePod.

And I do not mean that as sarcasm or am trying to disagree. You are 100% correct. I’m just saying the potential eavesdropping (malicious or accidental) is much larger than one HomePod in my living room.
Yeah I gotch ya, I understand just about everything is tracking us nowadays. But why add fuel to the fire. I use Duck Duck Go but happily let’s my ISP track my every move. Security and privacy is always going to have a problem of compromise, it just depends on where you want to make said compromise.

EDIT: And HomePod is definitely a compromise I’m willing to make.
 
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sakurarain

macrumors 6502
Jul 26, 2018
258
138
Shanghai
I am still happy with my iPod classic+iPod HiFi, the HomePod is a great device but I do not need it actually for the moment. For sure I will buy a pair if my iPod HiFi does not work anymore.
 
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