HomePod mini breaks out in a burst of colors

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HomePod mini breaks out in a burst of colors
HomePod mini will soon debut in three new colors: orange, yellow, and blue. That’s in addition to white and space gray.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bugThere’s good news for those bored by the HomePod mini’s color options. Apple just announced at Monday’s “Unleashed” event that its smart speaker will soon be available in three additional hues.

The price isn’t going up. But there’ll be a wait to order the fresh options.

New HomePod software chief tasked with making Apple smart speaker more competitive

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HomePod mini
A new head of HomePod software development making make Apple’s smart speaker smarter.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly hired Afrooz Family as its new head of software development for the HomePod. He’s supposedly been tasked with making the smart speaker a stronger rival for Amazon’s and Google’s products.

That would be something of a turnaround for the product.

Ecobee SmartThermostat is first third-party hardware to get Siri support

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The Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is the first of many third-party devices to get Siri voice support.
The Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is the first of many third-party devices to get Siri voice support.
Photo: Ecobee

As announced at Apple’s WWDC conference earlier this year, Siri voice support has come to the Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control — the first hardware not made by Apple to get it, with many others to follow. Ecobee said a new software update bringing the change rolls out over the coming weeks.

The fine art of getting your workstation just how you like it [Setups]

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They finally got it just like they like it. How would yours look?
They finally got it just like they like it. How would yours look?
Photo: PlaZma64@Reddit.com

There’s nothing like toiling over a computer setup until you get it just how you like it. Of course, that can mean many different things to different people. Some folks’ setups are as austere as a monk’s workbench while others look like Mission Control on steroids.

Redditor PlaZma64 recently drew attention to their newly completed setup with a post entitled, “Finally got my setup how I like it.” It’s centered on a MacBook Pro, an iPad Pro and a slew of Apple peripherals.

Going all mini all of the time [Setups]

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It's all
It's all "mini" except the monitor, pretty much.
Photo: seemerdane@Reddit.com

The new M1 iPad mini garners rave reviews for its powerful performance and easily handled size. The M1 Mac mini is well-established as a compact but capable desktop machine. The HomePod mini smart speaker has flourished after the demise of the full-sized HomePod. So it’s no wonder to see “all mini” computer setups cropping up.

Super-clean rig relies on Magic Trackpad and mouse combo [Setups]

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It seems more and more people swear by the Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse combo.
It seems more and more people swear by the Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse combo.
Photo: i_am_cris@Reddit.com

When you travel the online highways and byways in search of cool computer setups, you start to notice certain patterns. One is that lots of people seem to love Apple’s Magic Trackpad. Another is that plenty of folks hate the Magic Mouse. And a third seems to see a growing number of people absolutely love using a Magic Trackpad + mouse combo — which some onlookers find mystifying.

Going from a tricked-out 27-inch iMac to an M1 MacBook Air [Setups]

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What happens when you go from a 2017 27-inch iMac to a 2020 M1 MacBook Air?
What happens when you go from a 2017 27-inch iMac to a 2020 M1 MacBook Air?
Photo: 1st_thing_on_my_mind@Reddit.com

Redditor 1st_thing_on_my_mind posted about replacing the main machine in his computer setup. He swapped out a 2017 27-inch iMac stacked with 64GB of RAM in favor of a 2020 MacBook Air flexing 16GB of integrated memory. “THATS A DOWNGRADE” hollered one commenter.

And yet the switch pretty much worked out for 1st_thing.

HomePod smart speaker had a great quarter in the US

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HomePod mini
The HomePod mini likely had a lot to do with it.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

HomePod shipments in the United States increased 180% year-on-year in the last quarter, eclipsing the growth of smart speaker makers Amazon and Google during the period, market intelligence firm Omdia reports.

While Apple still lags behind the other two companies on shipments, it is looking more competitive than it has at any point in the history of the HomePod so far. That’s particularly impressive when considering that this was a rough three-month period for smart speakers in the US, whose growth is stalling.