Both sizes of Apple’s smart speaker got an update to HomePod Software Version 14.2.1 on Monday. The new system software promises just general improvements. It’s not yet known if that includes squashing a reported bug in Wi-Fi connectivity for the HomePod mini.
A more affordable version of the struggling HomePod smart speaker will debut next year, according to a generally reliable source. Apple is also reportedly going to introduce AirPods with noise cancellation in 2020.
Both are products that consumers have been asking for.
Not all Apple devices will escape the taxes being levied next month on goods imported from China. The Trump Administration decided to delay tariffs on iPhone, iPad and Mac, but other popular products will still get slapped with a 10% import tax, including Apple Watch, AirPods and HomePod
A drop in the price of the HomePod hasn’t helped Apple grow its share of the smart speaker market. It still has just a tiny percentage of all the units in use in the US, according to new figures from a market-research firm.
The number of smart speakers like Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod in use around the world is expected to keep growing strongly for years to come. It could pass 200 million in 2019, and pass 500 million in 2023.
Analysts from Canalys indicate the installed base of these devices is now surpassing the number of smartwatches in use. And smart speakers could even outnumber tablets before the end of 2021, they say.
Growing concerns about how much companies are spying on us tops our list of the most significant tech trends of 2018. Also on the list are some big changes in applications, a trend in phone design, and a new type of device that became nearly ubiquitous.
As the new year begins, let’s take a look back at what changed for Apple and the tech world over the past 12 months.
The Apple CEO’s tour of Europe continued today with a visit to sunny Spain. He’s there to promote tomorrow’s launch of the HomePod in the country. He’s also talking up the release of the iPhone XR, which will debut around the world on Friday.