Skip to main content

Apple HomePod Mini appears to have mysterious hidden sensor

Apple HomePod Mini appears to have a mysterious hidden sensor
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple HomePod Mini has a secret sensor that measures temperature and humidity, according to a report by Bloomberg

Apple has yet to confirm the hidden hardware but according to "people familiar with the situation", the California-based tech giant has "internally discussed" using the sensor to trigger specific actions when your home gets too hot or too cold.

There's talk of the HomePod Mini switching on your heating when it gets chilly, or triggering a fan when your room gets stuffy. The sensor is currently dormant but could – in theory – be activated through a software upgrade, providing new smart home functionality.

Apple has form when it comes to secret features. It slipped a Bluetooth chip into its 2008 iPod Touch – but waited until 2009 to confirm the secret and enable Bluetooth connectivity.

The HomePod mini launched last November and is one of the best-sounding smart speakers we've heard at this price. It already offers a clever home intercom system, but it seems Apple could be planning to ramp up its smart home appeal in an effort to go toe to toe with Amazon and Google.

According to some experts, Apple lacks a "unifying strategy" around smart home tech. While there are plenty of third-party lightbulbs, thermostats, locks and plugs that work with the company's smart home system, Apple HomeKit, Apple does not currently make its own smart home hardware beyond the HomePod Mini and the Apple TV streaming box (soon to be replaced by the new Apple TV).

More recently, Apple announced it had discontinued the original HomePod and will be "focusing" its efforts on the HomePod Mini, a rival to the Amazon Echo and Sonos One.

The company was tipped to hold an event on Tuesday 23rd March to unveil its latest AirPods 3,  iPad and AirTags but that now seems unlikely. Last week Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo said the AirPods 3 were delayed until Autumn, while a new report by Bloomberg points to a new iPad in April.

MORE:

Read our in-depth review of the Apple HomePod Mini

Check out this week's best iPhone deals and cheapest prices 

Discover the best wireless speakers for all budgets

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


Read more about how we test