| Cult of Mac

What could be in store for the return of the big HomePod?

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The big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
The beloved big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple plans to roll out an updated version of the original (big) HomePod as soon as the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said Friday.

As reliable as Kuo can be, little other information exists beyond speculation. But that’s part of the fun.

A lot of folks are jonesing for an Apple smart speaker beyond the HomePod mini, with the great reputation for sound quality the original HomePod enjoyed and the possible new ways it could function.

How to get the latest HomePod software update

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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 latest software version. There’s a new version out this week, and you don’t want to miss out.

Studio Display setup dresses to the nines in silver and black [Setups]

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The Studio Display now has silver-and-black peripherals and a MacBook Pro rather than a Mac mini.
Silver-and-black peripherals have joined the Studio Display and MacBook Pro in this setup.
Photo: techsteveo@Reddit.com

There are two types of people in the world. There’s the person who happily tosses a bunch of mismatched gear on a desk and calls it a setup. Then there’s the person with properly placed objects, minimal-to-no cable clutter and careful color choices — down to the charging-pad-and-braided-cable level.

Today’s featured setup clearly belongs to the second type of person.

Next Macs and iPhones: Whose bump will be bigger? [The CultCast]

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CultCast 541: M2 Macs and iPhone 14: Which gets a bigger bump? The CultCast episode 541
Looks like 2022 is gonna be bumpin'!
Image: Lewis Wallace/Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: It sounds like Apple is planning nearly a dozen new Macs with a next-gen M2 processor. The question is, just how big of a speed bump will that new chip bring? And then there’s iPhone 14, which sounds like it might come with a very big bump indeed — and not the kind you might be hoping for.

Also on The CultCast:

  • The original HomePod never ceases to surprise.
  • iPhone 14 could be the ultimate smartphone for narcissists.
  • Apple might be prepping an ingenious hybrid device to take over your living room.
  • When you’re tired of wearing earbuds, you’ve got options. Very strange options.

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 what you hear.) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

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Discontinued HomePod keeps going up in value

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Bucking the usual trend with discontinued gear, the original HomePod is appreciating in value.
Bucking the usual trend with discontinued gear, the original HomePod is appreciating in value.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Citing lackluster sales, Apple discontinued the original HomePod — the big one — in March 2021. Cupertino chose to focus on the HomePod mini. But now the original version is appreciating in value in online marketplaces, showing surprising resilience.

Most of the time, discontinued gadgets end up in the bargain bin — if they’re sold at all.

Is it OK to use a Mac mini as a stand for your display? [Setups]

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Is it OK to rest your display on top of your Mac mini?
Is it OK to rest your display on top of your Mac mini?
Photo: techsteveo@Reddit.com

We’ve written about storing a Mac mini in an upright rather than a flat position to save space. It’s OK to do if the machine’s intake and exhaust vents are not blocked. But what about using your Mac mini as a stand for a display, as in today’s featured computer setup?

It’s not necessarily quite as cut-and-dried as the upright mini question. Whether it’s totally fine or a little risky depends a little more on the specific Mac mini and the kind of monitor you use.

M1 Max MacBook drives engineer’s dual-display, dual-HomePod rig [Setups]

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What do you make of the inspirational plaques on the walls around this M1 Max MacBook Pro-driven setup?
What do you make of the inspirational plaques on the walls around this M1 Max MacBook Pro-driven setup?
Photo: apple_tech_admin@Reddit.com

We haven’t seen a tremendous number of computer setups centered on powerhouse 16-inch M1 Max MacBook Pros — much less such workstations featuring both dual displays and paired original HomePods!

But today’s featured setup is an exception. It boasts those impressive characteristics as well as a useful lesson about not judging a book by its cover as well as striving to be kind online.

Beats Pill+ speaker drops out of Apple’s lineup with no replacement

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Beats Pill+
See ya!
Image: Apple

Apple has discontinued the Beats Pill+ wireless speaker — one of the first brand-new products it launched after acquiring Beats in 2014. It was the only speaker available under the Beats brand, and there is no replacement.

You can still buy a Pill+ from third-party retailers while stocks last. However, you won’t find one in the Apple Store.