May Apple be about to launch the HomePod 2, a smaller model of its Siri sensible speaker?

That is a query we have been asking ourselves for some time now now – and whereas Apple’s iPhone X launch occasion on September 12, 2018 did not reveal what the subsequent HomePod will seem like, the HomePod 2 may lastly be on the horizon.

Greater than a 12 months has handed since then, and the iPhone 11 launch saw no mention of the new Apple HomePod Mini – so, everything is pointing to a 2020 release date.

The speculation is that the next version of the HomePod, the Apple HomePod 2, could be a more compact version of the original, with the name Apple HomePod Mini being rumored.

According to a Bloomberg report in July 2018, Apple may have been looking to release the HomePod 2 sometime in early 2019, which would make sense based on the release date of the original HomePod – of course, it never actually materialized. 

UPDATE: According to a new report from Bloomberg, Apple workers, regardless of now working remotely, are going full steam forward to get the corporate’s 2020 slate of merchandise into the fingers of customers. The same old iPhones and MacBooks are accounted for however apparently, the report means that 2020 will see the debut of a HomePod 2 sensible speaker and a new Apple TV set-top field.

(Picture credit score: TechRadar)

Some thought that we’d have heard an official announcement at Apple’s WWDC keynote on June 3 – as a substitute the corporate introduced multi-user assist is coming to Apple HomePod this 12 months alongside Handoff, the flexibility to share an audio stream from an iOS machine simply by holding it near the speaker. The brand new options are anticipated to reach alongside the iOS 13 replace that was additionally introduced at WWDC 2019 and slated for a September 2019 roll out.

With the information of updates coming to the unique HomePod, a 2019 launch for the HomePod 2 seemed much less seemingly, particularly because it wasn’t introduced at Apple’s iPhone 11 launch.

The unique Apple HomePod has been on sale since February 2018 and has to date been met with blended opinions. Whereas many individuals praised it as a speaker, relating to its capabilities as a sensible house hub, there are lots of who query whether or not it’s price its slightly excessive value level. 

With some studies claiming that gross sales aren’t doing notably properly, the stage could possibly be set for a HomePod Mini, and although Apple is but to make any form of affirmation we have now heard a couple of whispers about it – a less expensive and smaller HomePod could possibly be precisely what the model wants to attract in those that have but to be satisfied.

We have already seen how properly the Google Residence Mini and the Amazon Echo Dot have finished, so it could make sense for Apple to comply with swimsuit. No matter whether or not it’s within the works or not, that is precisely what we’d prefer to see from the HomePod 2 or HomePod Mini if it ever arrives.

Lower to the chase

  • What’s it? The brand new Apple HomePod sensible speaker may both be the HomePod 2 or the rumored HomePod Mini
  • When is it out? That is nonetheless TBC, however we expect it could possibly be launched in 2020.
  • What’s going to it value? No pricing simply but however, if it’s a smaller model, it’s prone to be cheaper than the fully-fledged HomePod 

Apple HomePod 2 launch date

Contemplating the Apple HomePod 2 hasn’t really been introduced but, and there isn’t actually any form of historic sample relating to earlier releases for this this product, making a guess on a launch date is hard. 

We’re additionally not but sure whether or not the brand new HomePod might be full-sized, or a mini model of the unique. We have been stunned to not hear any particulars at Apple’s yearly iPhone launch, which saved the sensible house information restricted to a HomePod OS replace approaching September 17, with new search options, a number of timers, and extra Siri languages.

As we did not get an announcement at Apple’s WWDC  on June 3, or at Apple’s new iPhone 11 launch, it is seemingly that we cannot see an announcement till in a while in 2020. 

That is trying extra seemingly now particulars of a HomePod 2 and new Apple TV have been revealed in a brand new report from Bloomberg. In accordance with the report, Apple workers are going full steam forward to get the corporate’s 2020 slate of merchandise into the fingers of customers, regardless of the disruption to their ordinary working practices.

There are, in fact, iPhones, iPads and MacBooks talked about within the report. However we’re within the advised debut of a HomePod 2 sensible speaker and a new Apple TV set-top field.

Sadly, the report did not provide extra particulars about whether or not each of these merchandise might be launching quickly or whether or not workers are simply engaged on them at present. We’ll hold you up to date.

Apple HomePod

Apple HomePod 2 and Apple HomePod Mini information and rumors

There’s not precisely a glut of HomePod 2 or HomePod Mini rumors on the market however there have been a few studies price choosing up on. 

Face ID and 3D gestures

A not too long ago filed patent by Apple means that the second technology sensible speaker may assist Face ID.

In accordance with MacRumors, the patent describes a “countertop speaker” that would “establish customers within the neighborhood of the speaker utilizing facial recognition, in addition to measure the gap of customers [in relation] to the speaker”.

The patent additionally defined the countertop speaker can be kitted out with “numerous sensors and cameras that collect hand gestures and different three-dimensional gesture enter.”

Having Face ID constructed into the Apple HomePod 2 may present an extra layer of safety for customers, in addition to permitting for a number of person profiles, with every person recognized through facial recognition. 

Nevertheless, MacRumors additionally recognized a slightly uncommon potential characteristic of the Apple HomePod 2 within the patent – an “emoji-based avatar that might adapt to a person’s temper or actions,” maybe even mirroring your feelings. 

Stereo sound

The HomePod 2 sensible speaker may sound even higher than the unique, if new patents granted to the tech firm are something to go by. 

Apple’s patent for a ‘Multi-listener stereo picture array’ describes a system the place “a number of individuals can expertise a stereo audio impact, no matter the place they’re seated,” in line with Apple Insider.

Beats branding

One of many more moderen rumors round a brand new HomePod got here from a Chinese language tech agency referred to as Sina, stating that there could possibly be a cut-price HomePod with Beats branding within the works.

We haven’t seen a substantial amount of Beats-branded releases since Apple bought the corporate in 2014, so this could be an opportunity for Apple to revive the identify whereas repositioning the reportedly floundering HomePod to a model new (maybe youthful) viewers. 

In accordance with the report, the brand new HomePod would value round $199 (about £150, AU$260), which is in step with earlier rumors and would go some solution to combating criticisms of the speaker’s excessive value level.  It is a report which ought to, nonetheless, be taken with a fistful of salt. 

The primary report of a Mini HomePod

Again in March 2018, solely a month after the HomePod’s launch, there was a report from Financial Each day that Apple was planning to launch a extra reasonably priced HomePod in some unspecified time in the future in 2018. 

It was rumored that this cheaper HomePod would launch within the US within the second half of 2018 for round $200 (round £145, AU$260), which is considerably decrease than the machine’s present $349 / £319 / AU$499 value level. On this report it wasn’t made clear how Apple was really planning to decrease the worth of its speaker, however a model new and smaller Apple HomePod Mini could possibly be a means to do that.

Apple HomePod

What we wish to see from the HomePod 2

Bluetooth connectivity

Positive, sensible audio system are all about voice controls, and the truth that they’re standalone gadgets that don’t must be hooked as much as one other audio supply as a way to playback tunes and podcasts. However, typically, a couple of added choices are simply handy – particularly when you’re attempting to play again a observe that, for no matter cause, can’t be discovered on the sensible speaker’s streaming service of alternative. 

It might not be leading edge within the sensible speaker world, however there’s nonetheless the odd event when Bluetooth connectivity can be helpful – and within the case of a HomePod 2 or HomePod Mini being tied to Apple Music, that’d be notably helpful for anybody trying to entry, say, Spotify streaming. Which brings us onto our subsequent level…

Open entry to different music providers

In the event you purchase one of many present Apple HomePod audio system, you’re basically locking your self into Apple’s audio ecosystem. So, iTunes purchases apart, that’s $9.99 / £9.99 / AU$11.99 a month for a single Apple Music streaming account, or $14.99 / £14.99 / AU$17.99 for a household account.

That’s superb when you’re an iPhone-owning Cupertino disciple, and Apple Music is a superb service positively price investing in. However, when you’ve already dedicated to Spotify or Google Play Music or any of the opposite myriad smaller streaming choices, that could possibly be a irritating restriction. 

By knocking a couple of bricks out of its walled backyard and letting different providers take a look in may give a brand new Apple HomePod a person base enhance – and it could possibly be paired with incentives to leap to Apple Music, if Apple performed a savvy long-game.

Extra colour choices

The Apple HomePod is definitely a beautiful speaker, with its cloth mesh overlaying and cylindrical measurement adequately subtle to suit amongst many decors. However that’s not at all times what you’re searching for – typically you need a gadget that separates you from the pack, as evidenced by Apple’s Beats headphones. 

That model has been constructed round daring colourful designs, and if the rumors that the HomePod 2 or HomePod Mini is to characteristic Beats branding show to be true, we’d prefer to see the speaker embrace Beats’ colourful aesthetic as properly.

Higher Siri efficiency

Apple’s HomePod does properly on sound however relating to smarts it’s considerably missing. In comparison with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, Siri is slightly restricted in what it could do for you as a sensible house hub. This isn’t nice contemplating it’s one of the costly sensible audio system available on the market, and Siri is your essential technique of controlling it.

With that in thoughts, we’d like to see higher Siri efficiency in a brand new HomePod iteration relating to performing instructions rapidly and precisely. There are rumors that Siri might be reduce from the machine completely to save lots of on value, however we’d slightly see some enhancements. 

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