Remember the HomePod? Apple’s extremely pricey, restrictive but sonically rather brilliant smart speaker came out three years ago (a lifetime in tech), and it remains the Cupertino crowd’s sole effort in the space – until now. Apparently smart speakers have to be ball-shaped in 2020, so like the redesigned Amazon Echo, the HomePod Mini is spherical, rather than barrel-shaped like the original. And as you might have guessed, it’s much, much smaller. Under 8.5cm tall to be precise. The Mini is still wrapped in mesh fabric and comes in black or white (colours might have been fun, Apple), and a ring on its head still illuminates when you summon a now speedier Siri or adjust the volume. The S5 chip that lives within allows it to near constantly adjust how your music sounds, while three microphones are on hand to pick up your voice requests. HomePod Minis can be paired for stereo sound, and an Intercom feature lets you send voice messages to other HomePod devices in the house. It’ll be available to buy from November 16 and will cost £99.
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Alexa, let’s get set up