Apple just announced a new HomePod

Apple’s second-generation HomePod

Apple

Apple announced the second generation of its HomePod on Wednesday. It costs $299.

The second-generation HomePod follows the first generation, which Apple discontinued in 2021 in favor of the smaller and more affordable HomePod mini. The original HomePod launched at $349 and never gained the traction of cheaper Amazon gold echo Google Nest products. Apple cut the price in 2019 to $299.

The latest HomePod allows users to create smart home automations using Siri, check the temperature and humidity of their homes, and get alerts when a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is detected, Apple said. The HomePod should sound better thanks to support for spatial audio, which makes it seem like music is coming from around you.

It also supports the new Matter standard, which means it will work with a new generation of smart home gadgets, like light bulbs, doorbells and cameras, without users having to worry if the gadget will support an Amazon, Google or Apple-based smart home hub.

The new HomePod is available to order online and in the Apple Store, in black or white, starting Wednesday. It’ll arrive in stores on Feb. 3.

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