It’s all in the swanky details and DIY touches [Setups]

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Some DIY touches and nice decor top off a highly functional setup.
Some DIY touches and nice decor top off a highly functional setup.
Photo: callum-edw@Reddit

While London-based dental student and Redditor callum-edw studies how to fix your teeth, maybe you should study how he builds a classy computer setup with solid tech plus a few swanky details and DIY touches.

Callum’s rig centers on a MacBook Air M1 tethered to a 24-inch Dell U2419HC UltraSharp external monitor.

Rejoice, audiophiles: Apple Music lossless audio is coming to HomePod, HomePod mini

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Apple Music lossless audio coming to HomePod, HomePod mini
HomePod and HomePod mini will be able to take advantage of a significant improvement coming to Apple Music.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple smart speakers will be able to play Apple Music’s lossless audio after an upcoming software update. Both HomePod and HomePod mini will get support for the high-quality audio format, according to Apple.

This is good news for HomePod owners who may have been feeling disgruntled about being left out of a signature new Apple Music feature.

HomePod mini features ‘secret’ sensor that’s waiting to be activated

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First HomePod mini reviews: Better late than never
Apple recently pulled the plug on the full-size HomePod to focus on its smaller sibling.
Photo: Apple

The HomePod mini has a hidden capability that Apple has yet to put into action: a sensor that measures both temperature and humidity.

According to Bloomberg, the sensor could be used to trigger smart home actions, such as turning a fan on or off depending on the temperature. It’s not clear why Apple has not yet activated the sensor so customers can utilize the feature — or when it might do so.

When the music stops: Apple discontinues full-size HomePod

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The HomePod -- a beautiful body with the brain of an idiot.
The originally HomePod is going away but the HomePod mini is going strong.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The $299 version of Apple’s HomePod smart speaker has been discontinued. The company is already selling out of its remaining supply.

But that doesn’t mean Apple is getting out of the smart speaker business — it’s pleased with the launch of the more affordable HomePod mini.

HomePod mini music handoffs just got better

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HomePod Software Version 14.4 debuted January 26.
The littlest HomePod isn’t being overlooked.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The recently released HomePod mini got a raft of new features in a software update released Tuesday. The process of handing off songs from an iPhone to the smart speaker now comes with some visual, audio and haptic effects. And media controls automatically appear on the iPhone when it nears the diminutive HomePod.

How to choose which HomePod listens to you when using two or more

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How to choose which HomePod listens to you
It's easier than you think.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Are you constantly being ignored by the HomePod that’s closest to you when asking Siri for assistance? Sadly, Apple doesn’t make it completely obvious how to manually specify which HomePod listens to you when you’re using more than one. But it is possible — and super-simple.

We’ll show you how.

Despite pandemic, 2020 was Apple’s best year ever [Year in Review]

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Apple products on a table
The big story for Apple in 2020, was, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Elena Mozhvilo/Unsplash

In spite of a devastating pandemic, a moribund economy, widespread unemployment, factory and store closures, and a workforce toiling from home, Apple in 2020 had one of its best years ever.

The company released a raft of new products, saw its stock soar, enjoyed a record valuation, made record amounts of money, experimented with virtual product launches and events, released great advertising, and mostly skated through government antitrust hearings.

The company even killed off a hated product feature, to widespread plaudits from fans.

HomePod 14.2.1 software update fixes bugs

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HomePod Software Version 14.2.1 is out.
HomePod owners can install an update to Software Version 14.2.1.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

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.