It's not just the new HomePod that has a temperature and humidity sensor. Apple's HomePod mini has always had one, but it just hasn't been activated yet.
While the initial HomePod mini teardowns missed the sensor, a later one much after the HomePod mini's release spotted it. A report from 2021 revealed that Apple held internal discussions about using the sensor to determine a room's temperature and relay that information to other smart home devices.
Now, tech specs listed on Apple's web page show that the updated version of the HomePod also has this sensor. And, for the first time, it's listed on Apple tech specs for the HomePod mini as well.
Apple also says that the HomePod requires a bit of time to calibrate the sensors immediately after it starts up before results can be displayed.
With the feature, and presumably a Matter system, users can create HomeKit automation that can close blinds or automatically turn on a fan when a room temperature is reached.
The HomePod has another feature for the smart home with sound recognition. It can listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and send a notification to a person's iPhone if a sound is identified.
The new HomePod costs $299 and goes on sale starting on February 3.