How Apple could fix HomePod’s white ring problem

One of the least welcome aspects of the HomePod smart speaker is its propensity for leaving unsightly white rings on your tables, due to an interaction between the silicone used in the device and the wood. According to one industrial designer, however, the problem could be solved by Apple without too much cost — although […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

Design Experts Claim the HomePod’s White Ring Issue Can Be Rectified Easily

Much has been said about the HomePod’s white ring issue on certain wooden surfaces. But some industrial design experts believe that the issue shouldn’t be hard to solve. Continue reading
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Industrial Design Experts Say HomePod’s White Ring Issue ‘Shouldn’t Be Too Hard to Fix’ for Apple

Last week, Apple confirmed that the HomePod can potentially leave white rings on the surface of wooden furniture with oil or wax finishes. In an effort to help users prevent seeing these rings appear on their own furniture, Apple shared a support document on “Where to place HomePod,” detailing how the interaction between the HomePod’s vibration-dampening silicone base and a wooden surface has the chance to result in a white ring.

Business Insider recently spoke with a few industrial design experts who believe that the problem “shouldn’t be too hard to fix” for Apple.” Gregor Berkowitz, a product development consultant for numerous consumer electronics brands, expects Apple to “re-tool” its HomePod manufacturing process to address the issue with the silicone base, which could take between two to six weeks. Although the fix could take several weeks, the experts said it’s “likely not very costly” for Apple.

Image via Wirecutter

Senior industrial designer at Y Studios, Cesar Viramontes, referred to the white rings issue as something customers will “probably forget about” in the next few months.

Apple may need to “re-tool” the manufacturing process since silicone is manufactured using a different process than the other kinds of elastomer,” said Berkowitz. If that’s necessary, the process could take anywhere from two weeks to six weeks, he noted.

“It’s an issue, but I think it’s probably going to be one that’ll be corrected in the next round of manufacturing,” said Y Studios’ Viramontes. “I think it will be a minor issue, and people will probably forget about it in the next couple of months when it goes away.”

While the experts see a quick fix for the issue coming from Apple, all were surprised it happened in the first place. Product design expert Ignazio Moresco explained that more is expected from Apple’s well-known attention to detail, and the company “should have caught the issue if they followed a rigorous QA process.” The white marks aren’t an Apple-specific problem, but have appeared with other speakers — like Sonos One — that have similar silicone bases.

Berkowitz believes the white rings could be a result of Apple’s “inexperience” with making stationary speakers, in contrast to the company’s familiarity with making mobile products like the iPhone and MacBook.

“This is sitting on a bookshelf. Is it going to work? Or are there going to be problems? A traditional consumer product company or a speaker company or a traditional Hi-Fi company is going to worry about that and think about those problems and have experience with it,” Berkowitz said. “This shouldn’t be new for Apple but it is.”

“They didn’t test the product enough and in the right variety of circumstances, especially considering that a wood surface is a very likely support for the product,” said Ignazio Moresco, a product design expert who has worked at frog design, Microsoft and Ericsson.

For those who have discovered rings on their furniture, Apple said that these marks “will often go away after several days” once HomePod is removed from the wooden surface. Users can hasten this process by wiping the surface gently with a damp or dry cloth. Still, the company explained that if anyone is concerned about these marks, it recommends “placing your HomePod on a different surface.”

Accessory makers are already creating products to act as a fix for the situation, including new leather coasters for HomePod from Pad & Quill. The $19.95 coasters are advertised as letting users place their HomePod on the wooden surfaces that have the potential to be marked by HomePod, without having to worry about the appearance of such marks.

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How to Find HomePod’s Serial Number: Three Methods Explained

How to Find HomePod Serial Number

Just like your iOS device, HomePod has a serial number. You may need it for multiple reasons. For instance, you would be asked for it when seeking help with a technical issue from Apple Support. It would also help you find the warranty status of your smart speaker. Finding HomePod’s serial number is pretty simple, and you can access it in three ways.

You can view the serial number of the Siri-based speaker from the device itself. Besides, it’s available both in the Settings and Home apps on your iOS device.

How to Find HomePod Serial Number

How to Find HomePod’s Serial Number

Find Out the HomePod Serial Number from Home app on your iPhone and iPad

Make sure that your iOS device is signed in with the same Apple ID that you used to set up your speaker.

Step #1. Launch the Home app on your iOS device.

Step #2. Tap on Home tab.

Step #3. Next, press and hold the HomePod icon.

Step #4. Next up, tap on Details.

Step #5. Up next, scroll down to view the serial number.

How to View HomePod’s Serial Number from Settings App on iPhone and iPad

Step #1. Launch Settings on your iOS device.

Step #2. Now, tap on your name.

Step #3. Next, scroll down to HomePod to view the serial number.

Check the HomePod’s Serial Number on the Device Itself

You can see the serial number of your HomePod on the device itself. It is also printed on the bottom along with its model number, FCC markings, e-waste warnings and other regulatory markings.

That’s it!

Wrapping up

Have any question? Toss it up in the comments below.

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