Back from the dead: Apple launches second-generation HomePod

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The new model should be familiar. It features the exact design of the first generation HomePod with a mesh fabric exterior along with an illuminated touch surface on top of the speaker.

Despite the same design, the new speaker has a few new tricks up its sleeve. It’s powered by the same S7 chip found in the latest Apple Watch models with better computer sound. The speaker is equipped with a tweeter and five tweeters.

Like the HomePod mini, the Ultra Wideband technology allows you to stream anything playing on your iPhone, such as a song, podcast or phone call, directly to the HomePod.

With eARC support on Apple TV 4K, you can make HomePod an audio system for all devices connected to your TV. You can also pair two HomePods together for a stereo pair.

A new built-in temperature and humidity sensor can connect to your smart home setup. For example, you can create automation that will automatically close the blinds or turn on the fan when a certain temperature is reached in the room.

With a software update this spring, Sound Recognition will send a notification to your iPhone if a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm goes off.

There’s also a new conformation tone to indicate when a request is made to Siri to control an accessory that may not show a visible change, such as a heater or accessories in another room.

It will also support the Matter smart home standard and act as a home hub for the new protocol.

HomePod is available in white and midnight colors. Retailing at $299, the smart speaker can be ordered starting today. It will officially arrive on Friday, February 3rd.

There have been no updates or changes to the smaller HomePod mini.

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