Apple VP explains the revitalization of HomePod, addresses limitations, and more

Home » Apple VP explains the revitalization of HomePod, addresses limitations, and more
HomePod comparison: New vs original vs mini

The second-generation full-size HomePod is set to hit the market tomorrow. Ahead of that release, a new interview with Apple’s VP of engineering offers an interesting insight into the timing of this release, some of the limitations of HomePod 2, and more.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Matthew Costello, Apple’s VP of Hardware Engineering and Operations, discussed why Apple made the decision to reintroduce the full-size HomePod right now. According to Costello, Apple “studied the learnings” from the first-generation HomePod and introduced the new model when it was able to “able to achieve [a] broad range of experience goals.”

“We deeply studied the learnings from the first HomePod and HomePod mini, and we introduced the new HomePod when it was able to achieve our broad range of experience goals,” Costello explained.

Costello also touched on why the new HomePod uses Wi-Fi 4 connectivity, which is a step back from the previous model’s support for Wi-Fi 5. In his very vague response, Costello said that this shouldn’t have an impact on performance:

“HomePod features Wi-Fi 4 connectivity that allows us to target exactly what works best in the entire system,” Costello tells TechCrunch, “making sure Siri requests are responsive, and ensuring a consistent experience for all you are listening to, controlling your smart home accessories and more — all while being energy efficient.”

He also explained how Apple worked to make the “acoustical imaging” consistent across both generations of the HomePod mini:

“When creating a stereo pair, it’s important that the audio characteristics match for an optimal, balanced experience,” says Costello of the lack of compatibility. “The new HomePod delivers immersive, room-filling sound users love — with even more detail, clarity and layers than the original HomePod — so we wanted the acoustical imaging to be as pure and consistent as possible from generation to generation. The principle of having audio characteristics match in a stereo pair applies to HomePod mini, the original HomePod and the new HomePod.”

As for the future of the HomePod mini, TechCrunch says that Apple “Apple declined to comment” on whether it will “remain a focus” following the re-release of the full-size model. The company, however, said that it is a “popular” option given its $99 price point.

The full interview with Costello, who has been at Apple since 2014 and was at Beats before that, can be found on TechCrunch.

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