This is the first major HomePod update in a long time. Apple has just rolled out the version 16.3 software that equips its connected speakers, with the added bonus of compatibility for all models. Including the first generation, which is no longer available in stores. It is not always necessary to install this version manually: it can be downloaded automatically in the background. But to be sure that the process starts correctly, there are still some good practices to follow.
Here is the procedure to follow from an iPhone:
- make sure the iPhone paired with the HomePod is running iOS 16.3
- open the Home app on the paired iPhone
- touch More
- touch Home Settings
- touch Software update
- enable automatic updates
This is also where you can manually trigger the update.
What does HomePod Software 16.3 offer?
The new version of the HomePod operating system makes it possible to activate two sensors integrated into the second generation of the large model and the HomePod mini. It’s about thermometer and humidity sensor. Thanks to these, users can now measure the associated data inside their homes, with the key potential automations for their connected objects.
With this, Apple specifies having improved ambient sounds that can be played as background music. To test the new ones, just say “say Siri, play ambient sounds”. The tones of the associated alarms are modified accordingly. Here are the other additional features announced in Apple’s release notes:
- new sound confirmation when a home automation request is completed and the associated device is located in another room or mute
- Locate now allows you to ask the HomePod (via Siri) what is the geolocation of your friendswhen they have agreed to share it with you
- the volume control on the first generation of the HomePod is now more precise when the level is not very high
- it is finally possible to trigger recurring automations by voice
- best quality for voice content (shows, podcasts, etc.) on HomePod 1 and HomePod 2
Other minor changes
As often, Apple also specifies that it has integrated improvements to stability with HomePod OS version 16.3. Of the patches bugs are also in the game. Nothing is indicated about security however, but this does not mean that the update is not essential.
It happens that patches come to fill flaws in all discretion, being finally revealed only later by cybersecurity researchers.