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HomePod 2 and HomePod mini: features, rumors, dates and prices

Do you want to know what Apple has up its sleeve on the next HomePod? In this article we analyze all the information and rumors related to HomePod 2 and the next generation of Siri and the software that improve the functions of existing units.

These days there is a lot of talk on the net that Apple could launch a smaller and cheaper version of its smart speaker. There are also reports that a new HomePod with Face ID will arrive this year, something that we also analyze, as well as improvements such as multi-user support of the devices.

New HomePod: Release Date

The HomePod was announced in the month of June 2017 coinciding with the celebration of the WWDC, but it was not until February 2018 when the availability and sale was made effective.

Thus, it seems unlikely that Apple will make technical changes to its new edition of HomePod 2 speaker. What seems obvious and observing the movements of its competitors, Apple could offer a smaller and cheaper unit.

In March 2018, Economic Daily News, a publication of Taiwn, publish a report with several predictions on the Apple product roadmap. Together with the new iPhone, iPad and MacBook, the website predicted that the new HomePod will be launched in the second half of 2018.

Obviously, the launch did not come true, but there have been many other rumors that a cheaper HomePod could be cooking in the company's ovens. Other sources of Bloomberg They talk about Apple working on a new version.

As you know, Apple introduced this year the new AirPods 2, specifically on March 25 during the presentation that took place at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino. However, there was no comment on the new HomePod, so it is all expected that Apple will have the new generation of HomePod ready.

If you want to know the HomePod in depth, check here our review of the speaker that plays music from iTunes and Apple Music.

What news to expect

In the last edition of the WWDC of 2019, Apple talked about interesting news about the updates of iOS, iPadOS macOS, tvOS and watchOS. What is still impossible to know if these releases associated with software updates, will be accompanied by hardware device releases as well.

If we take as an example what happened in 2018, and recently in the launches made last March, the company prefers to separate events and not mix software launches with new hardware releases.

New HomePod: Models and prices

Barclays analyst Blayne Curtis thinks that Apple will launch a cheaper HomePod in 2019 with which to try to gain a larger market share, as it says, HomePod sales will have been disappointing compared to the alternatives offered by its competitors, with less than 5 million units sold.

The first generation HomePod, available in white or space gray, currently costs 329 in the Apple Store. It is generally expected that version 2 of an Apple product will cost the same, but rumors predict that it will be cheaper in order to conform to what the market demands.

The Economic Daily News report backed by Rosenblatt analyst Jun Zhang, said the new HomePod will be priced between $ 150 and $ 200, about half the price of the current model.

An additional report from May 2018 suggests that the successor of the original HomePod cost $ 150 (133). It also says a lot about the fact that some outlets and retailers have offered offers with discounts of up to 100 on the purchase price of the current HomePod. This will indicate that the new cost much less.

In this way, we think that the HomePods family can be classified as follows, with prices that mark the possibilities of each of them:

  • HomePod mini: 99
  • HomePod: 199
  • HomePod Max: 299

New HomePod: Design

The new HomePod 2 may be smaller than the current model, in addition to being cheaper, as we have anticipated. In this way, the new device will be called HomePod mini as the brand usually uses in other product areas.

However, other media are considering the possibility of Apple using the Beats brand of its speakers to associate it with the new product that drives Siri, marking differences with respect to its HomePod model.

Recall that the Beats brand has traditionally always had a public of younger followers. If you want to know How to control and manage the HomePod, check the article here We offer step by step.

New HomePod: New features

When the original HomePod hit the market, it suffered some user criticism for lacking certain functions that those of the competition had (Amazon Echo or Google Home), as well as Siri's limitations.

He software HomePod was updated at the same time as the launch of iOS 12 occurred at the end of last year. The update brings us new features for the smart speaker, which we will detail:

  • Make phone calls directly from the HomePod
  • Lets you listen to voicemails in the HomePod
  • It is possible to dictate to the HomePod to find the iPhone and play sounds
  • Set more than one timer at the same time
  • Change the Wi-Fi network to which the HomePod is connected
  • Enhanced Language Support
  • The ability to transmit the audio of FaceTime group calls
  • Search songs by letter
  • Activate Siri shortcuts through HomePod

Siri Enhancements

It is expected that Siri will contribute with improvements in usability, especially when it is managed by different people or family members. In fact, managing Siri through the HomePod should be able to recognize several accounts with voices recognized separately.

The lack of more versions of Siri in different languages ​​also suggests that Apple is facing certain challenges in the development of its voice assistant. This may cause your HomePods may not be initially sold in all parts of the world.

The Ming-Chi Kuo analyst of the KGI Securities company says that if Apple wants to compete with Amazon and Google in the smart speaker market, the company needs to improve its voice assistant capabilities and increase language compatibility.

Finally, another major limitation is the Siri controls deployed in HomePod. In fact, you must ensure greater compatibility of music services in streaming, something that your competitors support. Although you can use AirPlay to stream from Spotify, it doesn't offer full support.

Face ID

Another potential feature could be Face ID support, something that was predicted for a couple of years, but has not yet come true. In addition, Apple has already moved this security feature released with the iPhone to MacBook Pro computers.

The president of Inventec Appliances, Davie Ho stressed months ago that engineers are designing smart speakers that will not only come with voice recognition, but will also incorporate features such as facial and image recognition.

These characteristics, associated with artificial intelligence, are designed to make life easier for people and ensure greater usability. A previous version of firmware from HomePod suggested that the Face ID could be used to authenticate personal requests.

Check here how you can block and protect notes on iPhone, iPad and Mac using the Face ID function.

Hand gestures

Thanks to the facial detection technologies incorporated in the HomePod, the device can recognize the gestures that the user makes from afar. Therefore, it will be possible to tell HomePod to increase the volume or stop playback with a single gesture.

The analyst Jeff Pu of Yuanta Investment Consulting, predicted last year Apple will be able to launch HomePods with 3D camera sensors. Apple acquired the company PrimeSense in 2013, a company that is behind the motion tracking technology used by the Xbox 360.

In this way, the user can use various sensors and cameras to interact with the HomePod, interpreting gestures that you can display in the air. LEDs located on the speaker could also provide visual information as a reaction to gestures.

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