A week ago we learned that Apple’s first smart speaker would be discontinued. The company is shifting its focus from the original $299 Siri-powered smart speaker to the new $99 HomePod mini which may not offer the same audio quality, but which is a heck of a lot more affordable at a time when rivals Google and Amazon have lower-priced options.
But it turns out the HomePod mini might have something the Nest and Echo line of smart speakers lack: a temperature and humidity sensor that could help Apple’s gadget become an important part of your smart home setup. Or at least it could if Apple decided to enable the hardware. Right now it doesn’t do anything.
Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.
- Apple’s HomePod Mini Has a Secret Sensor Waiting to Be Switched On [Bloomberg]
The Apple HomePod mini smart speaker has a hidden sensor that can measure temperature and humidity. Disabled by default, Apple could possibly activate it with a software update, allowing a HomePod to trigger smart home gadgets according to room conditions.
- Microsoft is testing dual-screen support with Xbox Game Pass on Surface Duo [Windows Central]
Xbox Game Pass Beta app adds support for cloud gaming with dual-screen devices like the Surface Duo, letting you use the upper screen to view a game and the lower screen for controls.
- Lenovo prepares to launch its first Android tablet with a flagship processor [xda-developers]
Lenovo may be preparing to launch an Android tablet with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor, which would be a major step up from the budget/mid-range chips used in most of the company’s Android tablets. Other specs include 8GB RAM, 128GB storage.
- Black Shark 4 Pro Audio review: An outstanding evolution [DxOMark]
DxOMark has published an audio review of the Black Shark 4 Pro, a gaming smartphone that won’t be officially unveiled until tomorrow. But I guess we know what it looks like (and sounds like) now.
- LG could be exiting the smartphone business [DongA Ilbo]
LG is reportedly having a hard time finding anyone to buy its smartphone business, so the company may put plans to sell on hold… while also putting on hold plans to launch any new phones, including the LG Rollable.
- Samsung bets big on foldable smartphones amid chip crunch [Nikkei Asia]
Samsung is reportedly working on a foldable phone with a double-folding design featuring two hinges. Unfolded it will likely have a 16:9 or 18:9 aspect ratio for better compatibility with most Android apps. Folded, it could be a more compact device.