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Apple users now have another smart speaker to choose from when browsing Apple's HomePod offering. The revamped HomePod looks exactly like the original HomePod that was released in 2018, but underneath that mesh fabric, it's all new.
The $299 HomePod is available to order from Apple right now, with deliveries and in-store availability starting Feb. 3. You can get it in Midnight (black) or White.
Inside the HomePod you're looking at an S7 processor, the same one used in the Apple Watch Series 7. That chip is used for features like Apple's room sensing technology that allows the HomePod to identify where it's placed in a room (against a wall, in an open space, etc.) and adapt its sound to match the environment.
In the spring, Apple will release a software update for the HomePod that enables Sound Recognition. When enabled, the HomePod will listen for a carbon monoxide or smoke alarm and then alert you on your iPhone.
On paper, the new HomePod looks and sounds like a worthwhile upgrade from the first-generation 2018 HomePod. However, we'll wait to pass judgment until we get one on our desks.