| Cult of Mac

Will new HomePod dazzle our ears like the original? We hope so. [The CultCast]

By

Two HomePods and the logo for
We've got our ears all cleaned out and ready to listen.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The first reviews of the 2023 HomePod make Apple’s updated smart speaker sound pretty formidable. We can’t wait to hear for ourselves. (Unfortunately, if you didn’t already place your HomePod order, you’re probably looking at a substantial hang time.)

Also on The CultCast:

  • An iPad with a folding screen might be just around the corner.
  • Retina alert: Apple Watch Ultra might get an even bigger, brighter screen next year.
  • Former Apple design chief Jony Ive’s latest creation is … a bright red nose!

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Our sponsor: CultCloth

Get the only cleaning cloth you need: CultCloth!

HomePod 2 review roundup: Great sound but no giant leap forward

By

A second-generation HomePod and a hand holding an iPhone.
The new HomePod looks almost exactly like the original, but it packs definite improvements.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of the updated HomePod say the new smart speaker sounds excellent but doesn’t break much new ground.

Compared to Apple’s original smart speaker, the second-generation HomePod is more of an asset in a smart home than before. However, the device’s limitations on playing music from third-party sources mean that the home in question better be an Apple household.

HomePod 2 wait times stretch out until March

By

Apple HomePod 2 in white and midnight
Demand for HomePod 2 has outstripped supply.
Photo: Apple

Order the recently unveiled HomePod 2 from the online Apple store today and it might not arrive until March. Preorders for the revived version of Apple’s full-size smart speaker have surpassed the launch-day supply.
There seems to be some pent up demand for the product.

The specs check out on new MacBook Pro and Mac mini [The CultCast]

By

We're talking the many pros and a couple of cons about the brand-new MacBook Pro Mac mini and HomePod models Apple just released.
We're talking the many pros and a couple of cons about the brand-new MacBook Pro Mac mini and HomePod models Apple just released.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The first reviews and early benchmarks reveal impressive performance boosts from the new MacBook Pro and Mac mini. We’re talking the pros and cons of upgrading — including one very important “buyer beware” scenario.

Also on The CultCast:

  • What’s new in iOS 16.3, iPadOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2? We walk through the updates.
  • A great giveaway from Goldenerre, maker of fine Apple Watch bands.
  • Our beloved old-school HomePods just got some upgrades — including one Erfon’s been dreaming of for years.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

What new HomePod temperature and humidity sensors can do for you

By

What new HomePod temperature and humidity sensors can do for you
Here's how to take advantage of the temperature and humidity sensors in HomePod 2 and HomePod mini.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

HomePod 2 and (surprise!) HomePod mini both include temperature and humidity sensors. These can be used by Apple’s Home app to control HomeKit accessories. Or just tell you how hot or cold it is in your living room.

Here’s how to use the sensors in Apple’s large and small smart speakers.

How to get the HomePod 16.3 update with loads of new features

By

How to reset HomePod and HomePod mini
Here’s how to be sure you have the latest HomePod software update. Or stop your smart speaker from updating.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Your HomePod is a lot more than a simple speaker — it’s a whole computer. And like any computer it has an operating system that needs occasional updates. Here’s how to make sure your Apple smart speaker has the software version released on Tuesday.

This is a major update, as the new version 16.3 enables some “hidden” sensors in HomePod mini and makes other significant changes. Those who use HomePod as the hub for a smart home absolutely should not miss out.

Should you buy the new MacBook Pro or Mac mini?

By

Should you upgrade?
Should you upgrade to the new MacBook Pro, Mac mini or HomePod?
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

The new Mac mini and the high-end MacBook Pro are the first Macs to receive Apple’s powerful new M2 Pro and Max chips. But should you upgrade to the new MacBook Pro (or Mac mini) or not?

That depends on what Mac you already have. Our charts and video will walk you through the decision-making process if you’re considering buying a new Mac. (Bonus: We also break down the pros and cons of the new HomePod versus the original and the HomePod mini.)

New HomePod … new Mac mini … new MacBook Pros … what a week! [The CultCast]

By

Second-gen HomePod image showing fewer tweeters.
We know the second-gen HomePod comes with fewer tweeters. Will it still tickle our ears?
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: The new Mac mini is a steal. The new MacBook Pros are a spec bump. And the new HomePod is … interesting. We’re such fans of the original, we can’t wait to wrap our ears around Apple’s (possibly) upgraded smart speaker.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Should you buy a new MacBook Pro or wait till next year’s M3 chips arrive?
  • HomePod mini’s secret sensor is about to go live.
  • We know Apple cut some corners to make the new HomePod. The question is, will the new version bring the boom like the OG HomePod?
  • And Cult of Mac writer D. Griffin Jones makes his CultCast debut.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

HomePod head-to-head: How Apple’s new smart speaker compares to original

By

Is the new HomePod really that different from the 2018 HomePod? Yes and no.
Is the new HomePod really that different from the 2018 HomePod? Yes and no.
Photo: Apple

Now that the full-size HomePod is finally back, just how different is it from Apple’s original smart speaker? At a glance, you might not think the $299 speaker Apple unveiled Wednesday is that different at all, because the exterior design looks so similar. But compare the new HomePod’s features to the old model, and you’ll find significant changes.

It seems potentially much-improved as a smart home device, but whether it’s a better speaker is questionable.