Apple “would develop new speakers with screens and cameras,” according to the always reliable Mark Gurman report for Bloomberg.
(This news is sure to make my colleague Callum, who just wrote an article wishing for a HomePod with a screen last week, quite happy.)
The company reportedly developed an updated HomePod for a 2022 release before the line shut down. It looks like the display-compatible model could eventually serve as a replacement, however, “such a launch is not imminent,” Gruman writes.
The news comes in the form of a few lines in an article focusing on another surprising news from Apple: The HomePod Mini has a hidden temperature and humidity sensor. It is a simple part, measuring only 1.5 x 1.5 millimeters, and it is manufactured by Texas Instruments.
iFixit has confirmed the location of the sensor after a request from Bloomberg. The sensor has been there since the device’s launch in November, but has yet to be activated by Apple for unknown reasons.
It is rare for the company to include material that is unused, but not completely unprecedented; the 2008 iPod came with a disabled bluetooth chip, and while it wasn’t exactly a secret, the iPhone 11’s ultra-wideband chip was barely useful at launch.
Since the company has chosen to ditch the larger HomePod and focus on HomePod mini, we may see the sensor activated in a future update.
Did you know that we have a newsletter dedicated to consumer technologies? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it here.
Published March 22, 2021 – 21:29 UTC