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Apple Is Waking Up a Dormant Temperature and Humidity Sensor in the HomePod Mini

An upcoming software update will switch on the monitoring capabilities.

Andrew Blok
Andrew Blok Associate Editor
Andrew Blok has been an associate editor at CNET covering HVAC and home energy, with a focus on solar since October 2021. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and wrote for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.
Expertise Solar providers and portable solar power; coffee makers, grinders and products Credentials Masters degree in environmental journalism

New skills are coming to Apple's most affordable smart speaker.


Apple's HomePod Mini smart speaker will get a few new skills when a software update switches on a temperature and humidity sensor that's been lying dormant. 

Temperature and humidity sensing are newly listed in the HomePod Mini product description on Apple's website. The news comes on the same day that Apple introduced a second-generation HomePod, which will also have the temperature and humidity sensor.

Watch this: What Apple Is Cooking Up for 2023

"The new built-in temperature and humidity sensor can measure indoor environments, so users can create automations that close the blinds or turn on the fan automatically when a certain temperature is reached in a room," Apple said Wednesday in a release about the new HomePod

The sensor, which was spotted in HomePod Minis in 2021, will likely allow the smaller smart speaker the same ability. The sensor works best indoors between 15 and 30 degrees Celsius (59 to 86 Fahrenheit) and when humidity is between 30% and 70%, Apple says on its website.

Apple's new HomePod is available for preorder now for $299 and will be available starting Feb. 3.