It can be a new HomePod speaker next week, but existing HomePod owners aren’t getting the silent treatment. Beside iOS 16.3Apple has pushed HomePod software version 16.3 to all HomePod and HomePod mini devices and it includes a lot more than the usual “general performance and stability improvements.”
In fact, not since then version 14.1, which added Intercom and several new Siri features, the HomePod received so many new features in one update. Most notably, HomePod 16.3 will activate the temperature and humidity sensor in the HomePod mini to measure the climate of the room. The inactive sensor was discovered in the HomePod mini during teardowns, but it took more than two years for Apple to do anything with it.
In addition, the update contains the following new features:
- Reworked ambient sounds are more immersive and can now be added to scenes, automations and alarms in the Home app.
- Find My on HomePod now lets you ask Siri for the location of friends and family if they’ve shared it with you.
- Repeated Home Automations can be set up using just your voice.
- A Siri confirmation tone will now play to indicate when smart home requests are completed for accessories that may not visibly show a change or are located in a different room.
- Sound tuning optimizes spoken content such as podcasts for even greater clarity on HomePod (2nd generation) and HomePod (1st generation).
- Updated volume controls on HomePod (1st generation) give you more granular adjustments at lower volumes.
The HomePod update started on Tuesday, but it could take a while to reach all devices. To update your HomePod, go to the Home app on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac, tap the three-dot menu at the top right, then Home Settingsand finally Software Update. If the HomePod 16.3 update is available, tap An update and follow the instructions. Once the update starts, a white rotating light will appear on top of your HomePod or HomePod mini until the update is complete.