10 Brilliant Things You Weren’t Told In The Keynote


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Yesterday’s Apple Event began with the unveiling of the company’s new miniature smart speaker, the HomePod mini. We learnt a lot about it, from its killer price ($99, £99 in the U.K.) to the ways it’s smarter than the original HomePod. But there was plenty more that wasn’t revealed.

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Since the keynote, I’ve been talking in depth to Apple about its new little wonder. Here’s what wasn’t revealed then, but you should know about…

1. Can you pair HomePod mini with HomePod?

No. Although you can pair two HomePods or pair two HomePod mini speakers, I asked Apple if you could make a connection between the old and new models. The imbalance between the speakers makes such pairing unfeasible. However, for whole-home audio, or multi-room sound as it’s called, then the speakers work seamlessly together.

2. It packs suspension

The output of the HomePod mini is so powerful, according to Apple, that it needs something to isolate any vibrations, so the speaker has a suspension system built in to overcome this.

3. The display goes edge to edge

If you take a look at the display on the top of the original HomePod, you’ll see it’s circular and attractive but it has a dark area around the lit part (though the screen and surround are impeccably matched so you can’t see the join).

On the HomePod mini, the display itself is smaller but it is now edge-to-edge illuminated which, judging by the keynote, looks pretty cool.

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4. The magic number is 180

For computational audio, that is. It’s the number of calculations the HomePod mini makes every second. Computational audio is the ability of the speaker to combine the S5 chip, software and hardware to optimize the output. It aims to understand the music coming into the HomePod mini and dynamically adjust it to squeeze every drop of goodness out of it.

5. Proximity controls have extra features