KEY POINTS

  • Apple announced a slew of new devices during the recent Apple Event
  • One of these is the new HomePod mini
  • The new device is significantly cheaper than its bigger sibling

Apple has announced a slew of new products, including the new HomePod mini – a smaller, cheaper version of the company's original smart home speaker.

The new HomePod mini is definitely smaller than and way cheaper compared to the original HomePod. The device measures only 3.3 inches tall and costs $99, which is only a third of the bigger model's launch price.

The HomePod mini also offers a slew of features similar to that of its predecessor but adds a few new things into the mix.

“HomePod mini has everything customers want in a smart speaker — amazing sound for listening to music, a world-class intelligent assistant that delivers a personal experience to each member of the household, and like every Apple product, it’s designed with privacy and security in mind,” Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing, said in the announcement.

Here's a quick look at the new smart home speaker's features as well as some things that interested parties need to know about it.

It offers a “rich and detailed acoustic experience”

It's smaller, but Apple said it has designed the device so that it will be able to deliver the same “amazing sound” as its bigger brother.

HomePod mini uses Apple's S5 chip, “complex tuning software,” an Apple-engineered full-range driver and passive radiators to produce “deep bass and crisp high frequencies.” It also fires sound through the bottom to produce “an immersive 360-degree audio experience.”

Apple_homepod-mini-kitchen_10132020 The HomePod mini is so small it can be placed anywhere in the home. Photo: Apple

It makes Siri more accessible

The HomePod mini is designed to make it easier for consumers to get an Apple-branded home speaker. More than that, it's designed to make Siri more accessible to more users.

The new device works with Siri to bring a “personalized and deeply integrated experience for iPhone customers.” The digital assistant will identify users based on their voices and tailor responses accordingly.

It will work with popular music services

Apple said the HomePod mini works with Apple Music, podcasts, radio stations from iHeartRadio, TuneIn and radio.com. It will also work with popular music services including Pandora and Amazon Music. It's interesting to see that Spotify isn't included in the list.

It works as a hub for the home

The new device can be used to control smart home accessories. The HomePod mini also makes use of the new Intercom feature to help family members connect with each other, regardless of where they are inside the home. The new Intercom feature works with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods and CarPlay.

Apple will start accepting orders for the $99 HomePod mini on Nov. 6 and will start shipping the device on Nov. 16. The device is available in white and space gray.