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HomePod was introduced back in 2023, but since then, the future of Apple’s smart speaker is uncertain. More recently, however, we’ve heard rumors about a new “HomePod mini” that is expected to be announced this year.
If you’re planning to buy a new HomePod, read on as we walk you through what you need to know.The current HomePod
The first-generation HomePod, which is also the only one to date, is designed to offer a great sound experience with some smart features built-in. It has a seven-tweeter array and a single woofer that delivers an immersive audio experience.
HomePod is powered by the A8 chip, which is the same from the iPhone 6 and Apple HD TV (4th generation). Even if it’s a six-year-old processor, the A8 chip can handle all the HomePod’s tasks without struggling. Because of that, HomePod has maybe of the features present in other Apple devices, including Apple Music, Siri, and HomeKit.
You can ask Siri to play songs, set alarms, call someone, or turn off the lights of your living room. HomePod has a six-microphone array that recognizes voice commands from any direction, even while a loud song is playing.
As the HomePod uses AirPlay 2 to connect with other devices, you can pair two HomePods in stereo mode or even more HomePods to synchronously play the same content.What we know about the next generation HomePod
Although there isn’t much evidence that Apple is planning to announce a significant update to the regular HomePod soon, there are rumors about an upcoming so-called “HomePod mini.”
Compared to competitors like the Amazon Echo lineup, HomePod is still very expensive — even after last year’s price cut from $349 to $299. Having a smaller version would reduce production costs, making the product cheaper.
According to a Bloomberg report, the HomePod mini is expected to keep the same cylindrical design as the larger version, but it would be about half the current product’s size.
Apple is unlikely to sacrifice audio quality to make a cheaper version of the HomePod, but keep in mind that having less physical space means the speakers will be reduced, and consequently, the sound may be lower than in the current HomePod model.
Besides, the HomePod mini should also have Siri for voice commands and AirPlay 2 for pairing it with other compatible speakers.Should you buy a HomePod right now?
If you don’t already have a HomePod and you’re planning to buy one, we recommend that you wait until later this month before making your decision.
As Apple will host WWDC 2023 on June 22, the new mini HomePod might be introduced at the event. Even if you don’t want the smaller version, the regular HomePod might have its price reduced once again or get updated with internal improvements such as a more powerful processor.
For those who will wait to make a decision, the regular HomePod is ideal for people who want the best sound quality at home, no matter how much it costs. But for those who want a cheaper smart speaker that works with all Apple devices, HomePod mini may be the best choice.
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Apple’s HomeKit devices bring convenience, and HomePods are no different. The little yet powerful HomePod mini brings Siri controls, theater-like sound, and more to your house. Therefore, you need the best HomePod and HomePod mini accessories like covers, stands, and other HomeKit gadgets to get the most out of it.
In this post, I will share my personal favorite accessories for Apple HomePod and HomePod mini. Go through each section and choose the right one according to your requirements.
Best cases and covers
Though HomePod seems less expensive, it is still a significant investment. So, you must safeguard it against dust, drops, and scratches. Besides, after setting up HomePod, you may also want to give it a funky look. And all of these can be accomplished with a HomePod mini case and dust cover. Let’s jump in!
1. Hounyoln hard case for Apple HomePod mini – Travel-friendly
I always carry my HomePod mini on vacations, and this hard travel case keeps it secure against the danger of bumps, scratches, or unintentional falls. The high-quality EVA build material is long-lasting, water-resistant, shockproof, and dustproof. You can store the speaker and charger in the case and close it using the smooth yet durable 360-degree zipper.
You may carry the case in any luggage as it takes less space and is ultralightweight. Along with that, the attached hand strap makes it more convenient to use. The brand has used soft velvet to make the interiors. That’s why this HomePod mini case feels premium and provides delicate care while keeping everything steady.
High-quality EVA and velvet build
Plastic hand strap
Check out on: Amazon2. Bestand HomePod travel case – Carry on the go
Like the HomePod mini case, there are various protective cases for HomePod. I highly recommend this Bestand case among the other travel cases due to its durability and weight distribution. This shockproof and semi-waterproof case fits your HomePod perfectly and provides good protection. Besides, it has a built-in carrying strap that makes traveling with it convenient.
Despite being semi-shockproof, it protects your smart speaker from drops, scratches, and dents. It can withstand spills and keeps splashes away from your speaker. You can easily open and close the case using the double 360-degree zipper. The best part is it has a leather-wrapped handle that makes it more portable.
Reliable poly zipper
Non-skid hand strap
Check out on: Amazon3. SaharaCase HomePod mini sleeve cover – Cute looking
I believe the HomePod mini dust cover is the most essential among other HomePod mini accessories. The SaharaCase silicone sleeve cover for the Apple HomePod mini provides additional protection and comfort. It protects your speaker from unwanted dust, dents, and scratches – thereby extending its longevity.
The smooth silicone build material provides a sturdy non-slip grip and a nice feel to your hand. The sleeve has precise cuts to guarantee that the sound is not impaired, and you can charge it without any hassle. I loved this cover as it’s not bulky, and the small carrying loop at the top makes the speaker easily accessible.
Premium silicon material
The carry loop needs improvement4. FitTurn HomePod cover – Eco-friendly
How about a protective HomePod dust cover that glows up? Full party mood! FitTurn HomePod cover has a full-body mesh hollow design and a high-quality silicone coating. Besides its attractive looks, the cover ensures your HomePod is damage-proof from sudden drops, scratches, and dust.
The special structure assists its volume and sound recognition capabilities. Therefore, your music sounds fantastic, and all your Siri commands are detected. Along with that, the precise cutouts for the plug hole on the rear side allow for charging without removing the case.
Color choices include the unique Noctilucent Blue, which glows up in the dark and highlights your HomePod. I had put it on my corner desk nightstand, and it looks beautiful after the lights are off. But I wish it provided more durable protection.
Hollow-out design that enhances high-fidelity sound
Funky glam look
Check out on: Amazon
Top stands for HomePod and HomePod mini5. Spigen silicone fit for HomePod mini stand – Premium pick
The best HomePod mini stand comes from the house of Spigen. The Spigen Silicone Fit Stand provides a wide base for placing on a tabletop for increased stability and secure hold. You can place it anywhere because the silicone body with a smooth and matte finish looks premium.
To make the HomePod mini more accessible, you may tilt it. The shock-absorbing design reduces speaker vibrations, so you can groove to your favorite music with no chance of dropping. A precise rear cutout makes it easy to access the cable and keeps the wire neat and tidy.
Slides on smooth surfaces6. i-Blason Cosmo Series HomePod mini table stand – With Apple Watch charging holder
The i-Blason Cosmo Series table stand is compatible with both the Apple Watch and the HomePod mini. It’s made of high-quality materials and has an easy-to-use compact design. The front of the lightweight stand has a cutout for an Apple Watch charger and accommodates it perfectly.
It feels good to touch because of the smooth edges. The silicon-based cushioning prevents skidding on flat surfaces. So, your HomePod mini will not get scratches and damage from drops. Besides, it offers unique HomePod mini cable management at the bottom, making your desk clear and uncluttered.
Use as a charging dock
Anti-slip and anti-scratch
Soft material7. AWINNER stand – Simplistic design
It can stand firmly on the table’s surface, thanks to the flat rubber base. Also, the stand doesn’t leave any spots on your hardwood furniture. The best part is you can get a free replacement or full refund for any quality issues. Also, I experienced fantastic after-sale assistance that was available around the clock.
Bass sounds boomy
Check out on: Amazon
Wall mounts to keep your HomePod secure
The wall mounts are easy to install and keep your HomePod securely. You can also rotate it to get an audio soundstage within your room. So, mount your smart speaker upon the power outlet for better cable management and save space on your desk with the best wall mounts for Apple HomePod and HomePod mini.8. Delidigi HomePod mini wall mount – Built-in cable management
This Delidigi bracket holder shelf stand securely mounts your HomePod mini to walls and other flat surfaces. It provides screws and anchors in the box so you can easily complete the quick installation. I loved its built-in cable management that keeps your charging cord securely concealed beneath.
To deliver the best sound output, the HomePod mini needs a more sturdy base. But in this case, the sound quality is somewhat diminished. Also, if you set it up near the ceiling, it may reflect sound back at itself. So, consider these drawbacks before buying.
30-day money-back guarantee
Check out on: Amazon9. TotalMount for HomePod mini – Hole-free mount
TotalMount wall mount allows you to set your HomePod mini almost anywhere in your house without making holes in the walls. The non-slip rubber pad provides a snug fit so that the device is safe, secure, and ideally positioned. This ensures that the sound is not distorted.
I loved its Premium ABS with a piano finish and a user-friendly, zero-equipment installation process. It uses four removal adhesive taps to hold onto the wall so you can detach it easily in no time, although there are optional screws.
Easy to install
No equipment needed
Dismounts if the surface is not cleaned
Low sound production
Check out on: Amazon10. EXIMUS Speaker Wall Mount – For HomePod
You can set up your Apple HomePod speaker on any wall with the EXIMUS Apple HomePod Wall Mount. It will be the ideal addition to your room, saving additional space. Your Apple HomePod speaker will remain elegantly on your wall and match the decor thanks to the sleek, minimal, and contemporary design.
The silicon pad prevents accidental drops or scratches while keeping your speaker firmly in place. It fully exposes your speaker to better sound production. You can install it in the proper position using the direction indicator. Also, the wall mount offers cable management to keep your room uncluttered.
Low-quality screws and anchors
Check out on: Amazon
Other HomePod and HomePod mini accessories11. Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter – Control HomePod remotely
Being an essential HomeKit device, you can connect it with other HomeKit devices like Eve Energy smart plug and power meter. Using it with HomePod, HomePod mini, or Apple TV, you can ask Siri to manage your lights and other smart appliances. Also, create schedules to automatically turn the appliances on and off and access them remotely.
Eve Energy provides exceptional usability and cutting-edge security by using Apple HomeKit and UL certification. Thanks to cutting-edge Bluetooth and Thread connectivity, it is fast and simple to set up, operates without a bridge, and boasts energy-efficient operation.
Use HomePod as a home hub
Check out on: Apple12. Nanoleaf Essentials A19 Bulb – Customized lightning
Nanoleaf Essentials offers smart lighting with smooth color performance and a unique multi-faceted bulb shape. So, you can convert your boring room to a party house in a snap, thanks to its high brightness and infinite color palette. You may use the Nanoleaf app, HomePod, or Apple TV to control and customize it.
The enhanced connection range and reliability with low latency ensure good lightning. Also, the app provides schedules or automatic turn-on/off. I loved the adaptive lighting function that automatically adjusts the color temperature. You can choose between crispy white or vivid, lively hues.
No hub required
Adaptive lighting feature
Some features require internet access
Check out on: Apple
So, that’s all for today, folks!
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Ava is an enthusiastic consumer tech writer coming from a technical background. She loves to explore and research new Apple products & accessories and help readers easily decode the tech. Along with studying, her weekend plan includes binge-watching anime.
Apple yesterday officially confirmed its annual September special event for next week. The September 15 event is said to focus primarily on a new iPad Air and new Apple Watch hardware, including the Apple Watch Series 6. Interestingly, Apple is also reportedly preparing a new Apple Watch Series 3 replacement. Read on as we detail what that could mean for the Apple Watch lineup this year.Apple Watch Series 3 backstory
The Apple Watch Series 3 was first introduced in 2023, and it was a notable update at the time. It was the first Apple Watch model to offer cellular connectivity. It was also powered by Apple’s S3 processor that brought significant speed improvements to the watchOS experience.
Since 2023, the Apple Watch Series 3 has continued to be a focal point of Apple’s wearables lineup. Apple sells it today for $199 with GPS or $299 for GPS and Cellular. Multiple research firms estimate that it accounts for a large percentage of Apple’s wearables business.
The Apple Watch Series 3 is starting to show its age, particularly as we approach the release of the Apple Watch Series 6. The S3 processor inside the Series 3 simply isn’t up to the task of many watchOS features nowadays, and the boxier design looks especially dated compared to the modern Apple Watch Series 4 and newer design.
With the looming release of the Apple Watch Series 6, the Apple Watch Series 3 is tricky to recommend. This year, however, things are further complicated by reports that Apple is also planning a lower-end Apple Watch that will serve as a direct replacement to the Series 3.The Apple Watch SE
Bloomberg was first to report that Apple is planning a lower-end Apple Watch for this year. In a report published last week, Mark Gurman wrote that the Series 3 replacement will help Apple compete with lower-cost devices such as those from Fitbit:
The new Apple Watch lineup will include a successor to the Apple Watch Series 5 and a replacement for the Series 3 that will compete with lower-cost fitness devices such as those from Fitbit Inc.
Essentially, it appears as if Apple has plans to give the Apple Watch lineup a treatment similar to the iPhone lineup with the introduction of what sounds a lot like the Apple Watch SE.
Earlier this year, Apple released the new iPhone SE as a replacement for the iPhone 8. It features the same physical design, but with Apple’s latest A13 processor inside, upgraded camera technology, and wireless charging support. It’s the most affordable iPhone in Apple’s lineup, and it’s a popular option for those who want a reliable and future-proof phone, with a familiar design and lower price tag.
Apple Watch Series 3 vs Series 5 design
The reported Apple Watch Series 3 replacement could be quite similar to the iPhone SE: bringing one of Apple’s latest processors to the lower-end market for budget-conscious shoppers. The new processor would give the lower-end Apple Watch much more headroom for new watchOS 7, from both Apple and third-party developers alike.
One thing that’s unclear, however, is what kind of design the Apple Watch Series 3 replacement might feature. Currently, the Apple Watch Series 3 is available in 38mm and 42mm sizes, while the Series 4 and Series 5 are available in 40mm and 44mm sizes.
The Apple Watch Series 3’s 38mm/42mm form factor sticking around has been a pain point for many developers. It’s possible that Apple is able to give the Series 3 replacement a minor redesign to increase the screen size options to 40mm/44mm, but it’s unclear for now.
Finally, the Apple Watch Series 3 lacks many of the health features that make the Apple Watch Series 4 and Series 5 so appealing. While it’s unlikely that Apple will bring the ECG functionality to the lower-end Series 3 replacement, it could absolutely add fall detection functionality.Should you buy the Apple Watch Series 3 now or wait?
The Apple Watch Series 3 is a tempting option in Apple’s wearables lineup. However, we absolutely recommend waiting to see what Apple has in store for next week. The Apple Series 3 replacement will certainly be a better product than the current Series 3. What’s unclear, though, is if Apple will be able to maintain the $199 price point.
Ideally, the Apple Watch SE will use Apple’s 64-bit S5 processor and add additional health features, while retaining the $199/$299 pricing structure. We’ll learn more from Apple itself on September 15.
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New to iOS? Perhaps you’re a regular user perusing the settings, wondering what you can do with your iPhone. I’ve put together a list of 22 essential iPhone settings that you should change now.
Even if you’re a seasoned iOS user, I bet at least one of the features in this article will teach you something. From preventing unauthorized access to sensitive data, and enhancing your viewing experience to adding an extra layer of protection to your iPhone, you can customize more than you may think.
So, take your pick of the handcrafted list below to configure everything that matters!22 iPhone settings you need to know about
1. Turn off Personalized Ads
2. Turn off iPhone Analytics and System Services to stop sharing data with Apple
Apple needs to collect diagnostic and usage data from your iPhone to improve your overall user experience. However, you get the complete freedom to opt out of this data collection whenever you want.
To take control of your data, open Settings → Privacy → Location Services → scroll down and tap System Services. On this screen, you can disable the access to a ton of things like Location-Based Suggestions, iPhone Analytics, and more. So, fine-tune everything as per your needs.
3. Disable In-App Ratings & Reviews
At times, In-App Ratings & Reviews can be pretty distracting—especially when they start popping up time and time again. Fortunately, there’s a quick way to turn off such popups.
To do so, launch Settings and head over to the App Store section. Then, toggle off In-App Ratings & Reviews.
4. Disable Video Auto-play
Short video previews of apps and games are helpful because they show you a quick look at what they have to offer. However, they can easily drain your iPhone battery percentage and eat into your cellular data usage.
But don’t worry as you can easily disable video auto-play to browse through the App Store with complete peace of mind.
To get it done, jump into Settings → App Store → tap Video Autoplay. Now, you can choose Off to completely disable this feature, or allow the videos to play only on Wi-Fi.
5. Change Passcode to Alphanumeric
A four-digit password isn’t recommended for a couple of reasons. It’s a tad easier to guess and can wreak havoc on your sensitive info.
To change your iPhone passcode to Alphanumeric, open Settings → Face/Touch ID & Passcode → Enter your current passcode, then tap Change Passcode. Enter your old passcode again → tap Passcode Options → Custom Alphanumeric Code. Remember to set a strong passcode!
6. Disable access to Siri, Home Control, and Control Center when locked
While having quick access to common features like Siri, Control Center, and Wallet right from the Lock screen is convenient, it’s also a detriment to your privacy. It’s best to disable access to essential features such as these.
To do so, launch Settings → Face/Touch ID & Passcode → swipe down to the Allow Access When Locked section.
Now, you can disable access to many functions like Control Center, Notification Center, Siri and more. Make sure you toggle off settings with sensitive info!
7. Enable Two-Factor Authentication for more security
Apple’s Two-Factor Authentication adds another layer of protection to your device. It can go a long way in offering a strong shield to not just your personal device, but your personal data as well. So, it’s wise to keep it enabled.
To get started, open Settings → Your profile → Password & Security → enter Apple ID password → Turn On Two-Factor Authentication → tap Continue. And then set it up by following the instructions.
8. Disable USB Accessories
USB Restricted Mode is a well-thought-out security feature that shields your iPhone against malicious software. It prevents your device from connecting to an accessory if it hasn’t been unlocked for more than an hour.
To make sure this security is enabled, head over to Settings → Face/Touch ID & Passcode. Then, be sure the switch for USB Accessories is turned off.
9. Limit Microphone and Camera access to certain apps
Ever tap “Allow” on an app that asks to use your microphone or camera? Want to stop granting access to those apps? Here’s what to do:
Fire up Settings → Privacy → tap Microphone and turn off the switch next to the app(s) that you want to restrict mic access to.
Similarly, you can tap Camera and then disable the switch for certain apps that you don’t want to access your camera.
10. Enable SIM PIN
What if someone steals your iPhone and starts using the SIM to blackmail others? That would be a disaster to say the least!
Why give anyone the chance to disrupt your life when you can enable SIM PIN and prevent them from using it? To get going, open Settings → Cellular/Mobile Data → SIM PIN → turn on the switch for SIM PIN → enter the PIN and you’re done!
11. Customize Privacy & Security in Safari
Safari offers a pretty secure web browsing experience. However, if you like, you can further customize it to keep spammers or data trackers at bay.
To get it done, head into Settings → Safari → Under Privacy & Security, you have multiple options like Prevent Cross-Site Tracking, Block All Cookies, Fraudulent Website Warning, and more.
So, adjust everything to navigate through the web with more safeguard!
Note: If you recently upgraded to iOS 15 and don’t fancy the search bar at the bottom of the screen, you can change it back to the top under Tabs.
12. Adjust Auto-Lock
iOS automatically locks your iPhone after a predefined time when it doesn’t detect any human interaction. It not only prevents unnecessary power consumption but also stops others from viewing your content.
It’s best to set Auto-Lock to a minimum. The screen automatically dims before 10 seconds, so the 30 seconds option would be a bit too short. For best results, choose either the 1 or 2-minute option to fit your needs.
To fine-tune this; open Settings → Display & Brightness → Auto-Lock. You’ll see multiple options such as 30 seconds, 1 minute, etc. Choose your preferred option and you’re good to go.
13. Enable True Tone and Night Shift
True Tone and Night Shift are designed to enhance the iPhone viewing experience. While True Tone automatically adapts your iPhone display as per ambient lighting conditions, Night Shift alters the colors of the display so that your eyes are more comfortable looking at the screen.
To enable these features, head over to Settings → Display & Brightness. Bring True Tone into action, turn on the switch for it.
To activate Night Shift, tap its settings option and customize it to your liking.
14. Turn on Find My iPhone to track your lost device
Open Settings → Your profile → iCloud → tap Find My iPhone. And ensure that the toggle is on.
15. Enable Wi-Fi Assist
Imagine you’re watching your favorite Netflix show when suddenly your Wi-Fi connection starts dropping in and out—bringing your binge-watching to a grinding halt.
Wouldn’t it be better if your device is automatically connected to mobile data when your Wi-Fi connection goes south? This is where Wi-Fi Assist comes into play.
To turn it on, fire up Settings → Cellular/Mobile Data → scroll down, and ensure that Wi-Fi Assist is toggled on.
16. Optimize storage with High Efficiency format
To get going, launch Settings → scroll down and tap Camera → Formats → make sure High Efficiency is selected.
17. Turn on Reachability
To enable it, open Settings → Accessibility → Touch → turn on the switch for Reachability.
To use this feature on the iPhone X series or later, swipe down from the middle of the bottom row of apps.
When you‘re inside an app, touch your finger to the gesture bar and swipe down to invoke Reachability.
On the classic iPhones like iPhone 7/7 Plus, 8/8 Plus with Touch ID, you need to double-tap the Home button.
When it’s activated, the content on the top half of the screen will slide down, making it a lot more comfortable for your thumb and fingers to interact with.
19. Disable Auto-Correction in Keyboards
Don’t get me wrong; I find Auto-Correct very useful when it picks up my mistakes. But at times, it doesn’t seem to work right, and may even hinder typing speeds. If this is the case, you may want to turn it off.
To do so, open Settings → General → Keyboard and then turn off the switch for Auto-Correction.
20. Set Emergency SOS
21. Enable Do Not Disturb While Driving
We must all root for safer driving conditions, ensuring we follow the rules carefully. iOS used to have a feature called “Do Not Disturb While Driving” that muted incoming calls, texts, and notifications when on the go to prevent accident-causing distractions.
However, this option seems to be missing from iOS 15. Luckily, we’ve come up with a clever workaround that’ll accomplish almost the same thing.
To get started, open Settings and head to Focus → Do Not Disturb. Under the Turn on Automatically section, tap Add Schedule or Automation. Now, tap App. Select either Maps or your preferred music app (Like Apple Music or Spotify) to automatically turn on Do Not Disturb when these apps are open.
As long as you keep the app you’ve added automation for open, Do Not Disturb will remain enabled. As soon as you close the app, Do Not Disturb is automatically disabled.
22. Enable Screen Time
Apple introduced a robust parental control feature called “Screen Time” back in iOS 12. You can use this feature not only to keep track of your iPhone usage but help get rid of smartphone addiction as well. To get started, open Settings → Screen Time. Now, you have multiple options:
Downtime: It lets you set a schedule during which you don’t want to use your device. Based on your needs, you can also customize Downtime to exclude days (Sunday, for instance) or put a restriction for only a few hours on a specific day.
App Limits: You can set daily time limits for app categories. For instance, you can configure the settings to allow Games for just one hour.
Communication Limits: Set restrictions on who can be communicated with and at what times.
Always Allowed: You’ll see the allowed apps during Downtime in this section. You can choose to disallow access to any app by tapping on the “+” icon to the left of it. And just in case you want to remove an app from the Allowed section, tap on the red “–” button to the left of it.
Content & Privacy Restrictions: It provides you control over a ton of functions. For instance, you can use this option to restrict iTunes & App Store Purchases, keep explicit music, news, podcasts away from your device, and more.
One more very important thing: be sure to set a Screen Time passcode to prevent anyone from making unwanted changes. Simply tap Screen Time Passcode → enter a code and confirm.
To get to know more about Screen Time, follow this complete guide.
There you go!
Stay Tuned For More…
Plus, there are quite a few user-friendly features like Continuity that offer a seamless experience across iDevices.
With Apple always trying its best to improve performance, we can expect iOS to continue to push the boundaries of possibility. Let me know your thoughts down below.
You might want to read:
Marcus is a freelance tech writer/editor with a focus on succinctly explaining consumer devices and their software. His previous work has been published on MakeUseOf where he covered everything from iOS to Git and UI design.
Wondering if you should update to MacOS Catalina or not? Are you not sure if you’re truly ready to update and install MacOS Catalina? Perhaps you have a critical app or two that you know aren’t supported by Catalina, or maybe you’re hesitant to update because your current Mac system is working just fine for you, or maybe there’s some other reason you’re wondering if you should or shouldn’t update to Catalina.
If you’re not sure whether or not you should install MacOS Catalina, or you’re thinking of holding off on MacOS Catalina for a while, or even ignoring it entirely, we’ll discuss those ideas and present some alternatives here.
With every major new MacOS update, some users end up wondering if they should bother updating to the latest version of MacOS or not, and MacOS Catalina 10.15 is no different in that regard. But MacOS Catalina is different in that it no longer has support for 32-bit apps, and no longer has iTunes (instead it’s replaced by a series of apps to serve the same purpose), and those changes are different from other recent MacOS software updates. So what are the options? Let’s review some of the choices available, but ultimately it will be every users own decision to make on whether or not to update to MacOS Catalina now, later, or never at all.1: Waiting Until Critical Apps Updated to 64-bit
If you have any mission critical apps that are 32-bit, you’ll likely want to hold off on MacOS Catalina until those critical apps are updated to be 64-bit, or until you find a replacement app for them.
You can find all 32-bit apps on a Mac in System Information tool as shown here if you aren’t sure.
If you aren’t sure whether or not a particular app will ever become 64-bit, your best bet is likely to contact the developer of that application directly, and inquire with them.2: Waiting for MacOS Catalina 10.15.1, macOS 10.15.2, macOS 10.15.3, or later
While many users report MacOS Catalina works great for them, there are others who report the initial macOS 10.15 release is still fairly buggy.
There are mixed reports that the first release of MacOS Catalina 10.15 has some bugs which can impact various users to varying extents, with issues impacting things that worked fine with prior macOS versions. Reported issues include wi-fi difficulties, external device incompatibilities, problems with network sharing, problems with various apps not working (many likely related to 64-bit requirement), some users are finding the new security mechanisms to be annoying, amongst other possible bugs, complaints, and opinions.
If you’re not concerned about being on the bleeding edge, then you can always wait for a future point release software update.
You can always wait to install Catalina when one of the point release bug fix updates becomes available, whether that is MacOS Catalina 10.15.1, or even MacOS Catalina 10.15.2, MacOS Catalina 10.15.3, MacOS Catalina 10.15.4, or MacOS Catalina 10.15.5 (or maybe even later, depending on the updates schedule).
There’s nothing wrong with this approach, and many cautious Mac users do will wait until later more refined versions of system software are available before jumping in.
Any future bug fix and point release updates for MacOS Catalina will arrive to Macs that are running prior versions the same way that the initial MacOS Catalina download has arrived; through Software Update and the Mac App Store.3: What About Skipping MacOS Catalina Entirely?
Is your Mac working great for you exactly as it is right now? If MacOS Mojave, macOS High Sierra, MacOS Sierra, or even an earlier system software version, is working fine for you and your Mac workflow, then you can always consider just staying put, and ignoring MacOS Catalina entirely.
This is a particularly valid approach if you rely on some 32-bit apps that you know will never be updated to 64-bit, or require some extensive upgrade that you’re not ready for. If you’re going to lose access and functionality of critical apps to your work, perhaps avoiding MacOS Catalina is a reasonable solution for you.
You’ll obviously miss out on any new features within the macOS Catalina operating system, as well as some stricter security measures available in Catalina, but for some users that’s a reasonable trade off to maintaining their currently working system as it is.
Some users may end up avoiding and skipping MacOS Catalina entirely, or using the earlier possibility of waiting for a later macOS 10.15.1, 10.15.2, or even 10.15.5 point release update.
If you’re considering skipping Catalina, keep in mind that Apple typically releases major security updates to the two prior MacOS releases, suggesting that MacOS Mojave and MacOS High Sierra will likely still receive critical security updates, even now that Catalina has been made available. Accordingly, if you stay on MacOS Mojave or High Sierra, be sure to install those security updates as they become available.
If you do plan on skipping macOS Catalina, you can learn how to hide MacOS Catalina software update from System Preferences here so that it stops showing up as an available update.4: Want to Try Out MacOS Catalina Without a Full Commitment? Consider Dual Booting
Want to dip your toes in and just try out MacOS Catalina to see what’s new, while preserving your primary MacOS installation? You can do this easily with a dual boot environment thanks to the new APFS file systems.
If you aren’t entirely sure you’re ready to commit to upgrading your primary MacOS installation to Catalina, then you can give it a test by dual booting MacOS Catalina and MacOS Mojave (or High Sierra) using APFS volumes as discussed here. You will absolutely want to backup your entire Mac before attempting this procedure.
That particular approach obviously requires an APFS file system, which means you wouldn’t be able to do it with earlier macOS versions.
Ultimately whether or not you update to MacOS Catalina right away, wait, or never update at all, are entirely a matter of personal choice, so do what works for you.
Do you utilize the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad for note-taking, making to-do lists, or for writing down any other important information? If you own a HomePod, you’ll be pleased to know that you can also add notes to the Notes app, directly from the HomePod and without typing them out. That’s right, you can add notes with just your voice.
Manually taking down notes may be something you’re used to, but thanks to Siri on the HomePod, you can use voice commands to add notes stored on your Apple devices. Just like on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, you can use Siri to get a lot of things done, including taking notes. However, a lot of Apple users choose to manually go through the Notes app instead, and don’t rely on Siri for note taking. Having said that, when you’re using a smart speaker like HomePod, you’re kind of forced to use Siri more often.
All you need is some time to get a hang of things. So, if you’re interested in learning the smarter way to add notes, read on to learn more.How to Add Notes with HomePod
It doesn’t matter which HomePod model you own or which firmware your HomePod is running, since we’ll be using Siri to add notes and it’s a feature that has been available since launch. Here’s what you need to do:
Start off by using the voice command “Hey Siri, add a note called ‘To-do List’”. Siri will confirm that the note has been created.
Once the note is created, you can use the voice command “Hey Siri, edit the note ‘To-do list’.”
Siri will now respond “What would you like to add?”. At this point, you just need to simply dictate what you want Siri to add to your note and you’re done.
As you can see, it’s that easy to add notes to your iPhone using your HomePod. And yes, these notes will sync to other apple devices too that are using the same Apple ID, whether that’s another iPhone, Mac, iPad, or otherwise.
Unfortunately, you cannot use HomePod to delete notes on your iPhone. If you try using Siri to delete a note, you will just get the response “Sorry, I can’t help you delete notes. You can do that in the app.” As of now, it looks like you’re limited to adding and editing notes, but perhaps that will change in the future.
It’s worth pointing out that Siri on the HomePod can also access the existing notes that are stored on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can make changes to all these notes using Siri and Dictation. Once you get used to it, you’ll realize that it’s way easier and a lot quicker to take notes with your HomePod.
This is just one of the many cool things that you can do with your HomePod. For example, you can use your HomePod to locate your lost iPhone, iPad, AirPods, or Mac as Siri can access Find My details. Also, if you use iTunes on a Windows PC, you can feed audio straight to your HomePod speakers within a matter of seconds.
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