In the year of moving on from the 360-degree designed smart speakers. Although, Apple stuck themselves to it together with the HomePod mini. But why?
The smart speakers produced by Apple, the HomePod mini and the HomePod, have specs unlike most of the many smart speakers out there in 2020. It’s because they are known to be one of the few smart speakers with the 360-degree designs. Google and Amazon both have not really invested as much into the format, resulting in its abandonment. Although, why has Apple kept on?
This year has been marked as the first for Amazon, since 2014, in abandoning the 360-degree design for the sake of directional Echo, especially in a model which displays the new, spherical design. This has been deemed true with the smaller fourth-generation Echo Dot by Amazon.
The newest leading smart speaker of Google, the Nest Studio, has been known to be the very first front-firing speaker of theirs. Their larger and best-sounding smart speaker known to be the Google Home Max is also a front-firer as well. Although, the only smart speaker remaining with the 360-degree design produced by the company currently is the Nest Mini.
However, why have both Google and Amazon abandoned the 360-design? The simple answer would be that it’s not really practical for the purpose of smart speakers. As everyday speakers, particularly the wired ones, it has been deemed to have a lack of convenience. The decor clutters up, wire needs to be dragged within the room(s), all just for the advantage of delivering the sound within the areas of the room nobody is currently residing at.
Unfortunately, the HomePod mini, containing cheap innards and an S5 processor less powerful, cannot make use of the beam-forming tricks and self-tuning, so why stay in the same design? Well, it’s the consistency that matters, but also Apple may be wanting for the HomePod mini to be in the room at the center so it could be used more.
Just like the HomePod, the HomePod mini has been designed for a better degree with interaction instead of competing with other smart speakers that don’t assimilate as directly with a mobile phone. The user’s voice could be used to call people, send iMessages, and read their voicemails.
The HomePod mini accommodates a feature that even the HomePod lacks, and it’s quick and easy with the hands off from the iPhone, according to gearpatrol.
No doubt, Apple has been referring to smart speakers in a different way compared to Google and Amazon. The HomePod mini and HomePod have a lot of technology that other smart speakers, that are cheaper, lack. Although that’s definitely what makes Apple interesting for continuing the 360-degree design for “room filling” using the HomePod mini.
The HomePod mini has been said to cost $99. The availability for pre orders began on November 6 and for order will be by November 16.