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Apple resurrects full-size HomePod with hot new features, same old price

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Apple resurrects full-size HomePod with hot new features, same old price
The full-size HomePod is back!
Photo: Apple

Apple unveiled HomePod 2 on Wednesday, bringing its full-size smart speaker back from the dead. The new model offers high-quality audio and new smart-home features, but comes in at the same price as its predecessor.

“With the popularity of HomePod mini, we’ve seen growing interest in even more powerful acoustics achievable in a larger HomePod. We’re thrilled to bring the next generation of HomePod to customers around the world,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s SVP of worldwide marketing, in a press release.

Apple’s full-size HomePod 2 could launch sooner than expected

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The big HomePod could be back soon. But how pricey and how functional will it be?
Apple's HomePod 2 could be around the corner.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

UPDATE: This prediction can true very quickly. HomePod 2 launched on January 18. Get all the details:


Apple’s new full-size HomePod with even better sound quality could launch “fairly soon,” according to the latest rumor. The updated smart speaker should pack improved touch controls and feature Matter with Thread support for more reliable use as a home-automation hub. And it should come at a lower price than the original model.

The HomePod debuted in 2018, but Apple discontinued it in 2021 following poor sales due to its steep $299 price.

No major AirPods, iPad or Apple Watch upgrades planned for 2023

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Apple logo with red background.
Apple seems to be focusing on the launch of its AR/VR headset this year.
Image: Rajesh

Every year, Apple has some significant hardware upgrades planned for at least a few devices in its product lineup. 2023 could be an outlier, though.

This year, Apple’s major hardware launches will include its first AR/VR headset and the iPhone 15 series. While other products in the company’s lineup will receive a refresh, they will be relatively minor upgrades.

What to expect from Apple in 2023, plus our best of 2022 picks [The CultCast]

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This year was good for Apple, but 2023 looks even better!
This year was good for Apple, but 2023 looks even better!
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: We’re talking about all the Apple gear we’re certain will arrive in 2023 — and some we just hope will materialize.

Also on The CultCast:

  • An Apple Watch Ultra clone for less than $50?!?
  • More on Apple’s penny-penching strategy of skimping on cloud storage by serving up lower-resolution files.
  • Our picks for best of 2022 — part two!

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.

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Apple wants to shorten ‘Hey Siri’ trigger phrase to simply ‘Siri’

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Siri may be in for new voice lessons soon.
Siri could become easier to summon in the future.
Photo: Apple

Apple is working on changing the “Hey Siri” hotword to just plain “Siri,” and the change could roll out as early as next year.

Introduced in 2015 with the iPhone 6s, the “Hey Siri” hotword remains unchanged to this day. You also can use the phrase to invoke Apple’s voice assistant on the Mac, iPad, HomePod and Apple Watch.

Apple preps iPad cradle that’s also a HomePod

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Apple prepping iPad cradle that's also a HomePod
A HomePod that's also an iPad cradle might look something like this concept.
Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly plans to release an iPad cradle with a built-in speaker. The device will function as a HomePod smart speaker, and when a tablet is placed in it will become a smart home hub with a touchscreen.

The company also allegedly continues work on a single device that will perform the same task.

Hidden iOS 16 features make us love it even more [The CultCast]

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Hidden iOS 16 features make us love it even more - The CultCast Apple podcast
The iOS 16 upgrade makes even old iPhones feel brand new.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: iOS 16 makes our year-old iPhones feel fresh again. And the various “hidden” features flying under the radar make the iOS 16 experience even more impressive.

Also on The CultCast:

  • We can’t wait for our first trip to the iPhone 14 Pro’s Dynamic Island.
  • Is the iPhone 14/iPhone 14 Plus really a failure? (Even Steve Jobs’ daughter is dissing this year’s “upgrade” to Apple’s midrange iPhones.)
  • What to expect at Apple’s October event.

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.

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What to expect at Apple’s Sept. 7 ‘Far Out’ product event [Updated]

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Far out: Apple’s Sept. 7 iPhone event is on and in person
There's a lot to look forward to on September 7 at 10 a.m.
Image: Apple

The long-anticipated Apple early fall event is just around the corner. On September 7, executives will take to the stage at Apple Park to unveil an array of new products.

Here’s everything we’re expecting at the “Far Out” event, plus the devices we’ll likely have to wait until later in the year to see.

How to make Siri silence alarms on other Apple devices [Pro Tip]

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How make Siri silence alarms on other Apple devices [Pro Tip]
A quick Siri command can quiet an alarm going off on the other side of your house.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Pro-tip-4Say you’re in the kitchen and you hear an alarm going off on the iPad in your bedroom. Rather than walking across the house to to deactivate it, you can use Siri on your iPhone or HomePod to shut off the alarm. This method also works with timers (and a variety of devices, too).

Here’s how to do this trick on devices running iOS 16, which is out in beta now and coming soon to an iPhone near you.

iPad Pro extends brilliant 5K display through Sidecar [Setups]

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The LG 5K display and the iPad Pro work together through Sidecar.
The LG 5K display and the iPad Pro work together through Sidecar.
Photo: Fuffret@Reddit.com

Apple has said many times it won’t produce a touch-screen Mac because that’s what iPads are for. But Sidecar functionality can make an iPad a touch-screen extension of a Mac, where you can drag and drop elements and work with them using Apple Pencil or your fingertips.

Today’s featured MacBook Pro setup mounts a big 5K display and an iPad Pro right next to each other. In the photograph, you can see the desktop wallpaper running right onto the tablet’s display through Sidecar (more on that below).

And who doesn’t love an all-Apple audio arsenal? This setup rocks paired OG HomePods, AirPods Max on a cool charging stand and AirPods, too.