Apple is working on a new smart home product that would combine Apple TV, a HomePod speaker and a camera for FaceTime or Zoom-style video conferencing, Bloomberg reported Monday.
The company “has been a laggard in the smart-home space, but [this] versatile new device in early development could change that,” according to the story, which describes the in-development product as “Apple’s most ambitious smart-home hardware offering to date.”
Most folks refer to Siri as “she,” but that’s not always true. The original British English Siri, for example, was male-only up until iOS 7.1 added a female version. And in the latest iOS 14.5 beta, a female Siri is not the default option.
No matter what, you don’t have to stick with your local version of Apple’s comically bad voice assistant. U.S. English speakers, for example, can currently choose from American, Australian, British, Indian, Irish and South African accents for Siri, and also pick male or female versions — with more voices coming soon.
So, if you’re a U.S. native who views the U.K. Standard English accent as quaint, cute, respectful, sexy or reproachful, it’s easy to set your iPhone or iPad to sound like a Brit or whatever you want. And your choice of Siri accent will follow you on all Apple devices logged into with your Apple ID. (In addition to iPhone and iPad, Siri works with just about everything now: Mac, AirPods, iPod, Apple Watch, CarPlay, HomePod and Apple TV.)
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.
Apple recently pulled the plug on its sweet-sounding smart speaker, and the move is definitely not music to our ears. In fact, it calls into question Apple’s strategy of releasing — and then rudely abandoning — expensive, niche products. Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel on that.
Find out why we hope that never happens again in this week’s free issue of Cult of Mac Magazine. Download it to enjoy on iPhone or iPad, or get the stories below in your browser.
They don’t sell well — at least not well enough to keep Apple interested, apparently — and it’s not fair to consumers who shell out big bucks, then get stuck with a product that vanishes after just one generation.
Yes, Apple says it will continue to support the full-size HomePod with software updates, even as it refocuses on the $99 HomePod mini. But the old-school HomePod is a dead-end product.
You can read the HomePod debacle as an admission of failure regarding Apple’s framing of the device as a smart speaker rather than high-end audio gear. But it’s more than that. It’s an illustration of Apple’s faltering strategy of creating premium products for niche corners of the market.
If one thing catches your eye first about Redditor arnaki_gkioulmpasi’s setup, it’s probably the interesting light show on the wall behind it. That array is made up of Nanoleaf Shapes that can be arranged any which way.
Those cool-looking lights, along with a Yeelight Screen Light Bar Pro atop the Dell 32-inch curved 4K monitor and a standing lamp next to the desk, keep eyestrain to a minimum.
UK-based Redditor linden_park just updated their setup while working in the early development phase of a new life simulator game set in space among multiple planets and space stations. Covering all that intergalactic territory, it helps to have both wide and tall screens.