Apple may have released a new HomePod speaker this week, but existing owners will not get the silent treatment.
In the HomePod software version 16.3 update, Apple is adding several features for the original HomePod and HomePod mini, as well as the second-generation model arriving in early February. Not since version 14.1, which added Intercom and several new Siri features, has the HomePod received so many new features in one update.
Notably, HomePod 16.3 will activate the temperature and humidity sensor in the HomePod mini to measure the room climate. The dormant sensor was discovered in the HomePod mini during teardown, but it took Apple more than two years to do something with it.
Additionally, the update contains the following new features:
Remastered 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. Recurring home automations can be set using just your voice. Siri’s confirmation tone will now play to indicate when smart home requests have been completed for accessories that may not visibly show a change or are in a different room. Audio Tuning optimizes spoken content like podcasts for even greater clarity on HomePod (2nd generation) and HomePod (1st generation). Updated volume controls on HomePod (1st generation) offer more granular adjustments at lower volumes.
The HomePod update will arrive next week alongside iOS 16.3, around Tuesday or Wednesday. To update your HomePod, go to the Home app on your iPhone, iPad or Mac, tap the three-dot menu in the top right, then Home settingsand finally Software update. If HomePod 16.3 update is available, tap Update and follow the instructions. Once the update starts, a rotating white light will appear on top of your HomePod or HomePod mini until the update is installed.