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Apple is launching a new version of its connected speaker. The HomePod mini, as the name suggests, is a scaled-down version of the smart speaker released in 2017. The mini version of the HomePod features a clean design, halfway between a Philips Hue Go and the latest Amazon speakers. Fourth generation echo. The typical cylinder of the HomePod therefore gives way to a small sphere of just over 8 cm (8.43 precisely), crowned with a luminous touch panel.

Honey, I shrunk Siri

Inside this HomePod mini, it is an S5 chip which is at the controls of a ubiquitous Siri and advertised as more powerful. Thanks to the Intercom feature, Apple’s voice assistant will now be able to send voice messages remotely to other family members’ iOS devices. Above all, with this new version of its smart speaker, Apple is taking back its U1 chip, a component that relies on the UWB (Ultrawide Band) to make connected objects communicate with each other.

Concretely, the HomePod mini will be able to better understand its immediate environment, geolocate other devices in the house and, if necessary, control them.

These new features illustrate a role of home automation hub that Apple now seems to assume. Indeed, by allowing the HomePod mini to be paired with an Apple TV or to send notifications to an Apple Watch, or in the car via CarPlay, Cupertino makes it a finally credible domestic hub.

Given its size, you shouldn’t expect the mini version to deliver the same audio performance as the original HomePod. However, Apple says it has equipped it with a broadband driver and two force-canceling passive radiators which, coupled with careful software processing, should set the scene. Available in two colors, white and space gray, the HomePod will be marketed on November 16 at 99 euros. Pre-orders will begin on November 6 at 2 p.m.

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